Wifthing, by Pattie McCarthy
"Pattie McCarthy's meticulously researched wifthing sequence traverses history's gaps and silences throughout the medieval English vocabularies she has always been drawn to. Beginning with the fourteenth century English mystic Margery Kempe who wrote through spirit dictation, WIFTHING scours vows of chastity, devotions, pregnant queens, cross-dressing heretics, goodwives, births, daugherthings, boychiks, court records, kaleidoscopic New England witchcraft testimonies. McCarthy's ear is sharp, her eye, demanding and disciplined. Eighty unpunctuated sonnets, both austere and rebellious, are carefully arranged on each page as verbal grid maps through pre- and postmodernity. Small things, various hagiographies, fabric [Latin textus], piecework syntax, 'The goodwyf will call you back.' Through threads and threats of mothering history the intercession of love pardoned and restored with fury and reverence."