A Review of
Still Pilgrim: Poems
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell
Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2017
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Reviewed by James Matichuk
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This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog.
Reprinted with permission.
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Angela Alaimo O’Donnell teaches English at Fordham University and is the associate director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. She has previously published seven poetry collections (in addition to publishing other books, articles, and essays). Her new collection of poems, Still Pilgrim showcases a steady faith and the journey of a woman through the seasons of life and liturgy.
The project was birthed after O’Donnell made a pilgrimage to Herman Melville’s grave, a few miles from her home in the New York. Melville had written of the passion of men going off to sea, but his grave plot in Woodlawn cemetery in the Bronx was in only one of ‘New York’s five boroughs not surrounded by water” (69). O’Donnell composed a poem, St. Melville, with these words, “Is this what you were called to still pilgrim,/to sleep beneath six small feet of earth?” (70). An old sailor interred in the earth, still but his work still lives on.