from the Foreward by Justin Spring
I liked Tongue Tied Woman. I liked the title, I liked the idea, I liked the poems. Using a repeated theme or refrain in a collection is a difficult trick to pull off. The hook has to be rich enough, deep enough, to continue to attract our attention over a good length of time. Jeanetta Calhoun's repeated theme and refrain, "tongue tied woman" is a hook up to the task. Much of her success has to do with the fact that she treats the phrase carefully and resists misusing it. It's a wonderful metaphor of the act of creating poems as well. After all, isn't that what poetry is all about: becoming untongue-tied? Letting the Muse speak. For poets of genius it happens quite easily. The rest of us have to work at it.