The main subject of the poems in Second Growth are family members, the wilderness (wild animals, beetle-kill forests etc) and tree planters, in roughly that order of predominance.
The conceit is an ambitious one, hard to sustain, and I found myself anxiously anticipating some too-intimate encounters in the nether parts of the poet’s interior. Yet it is at least interesting to see how she will make the conceit work out. The tongue’s most unambiguous thrust is down her legs into the ground, which is, for her, the source of revelation. This direction is anticipated in the quote from Cherrie Moraga that prefaces the book: “land is that physical mass called our bodies.” In the battle of land and sky, realism and idealism, Calvert Filteau is Anteus, taking strength from contact with the ground.