Poetry. Asian American Studies. In this extraordinary new collection of poems by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, writing reflects human presence in the phenomenal world. Physical sensations of experience a horizon, moisture, a child, a piece of quartz, a loss become objects of focus and poetic elements. Her written lines, like strings of protein, both create and destroy bonds. ReadPoetry. Asian American Studies. In this extraordinary new collection of poems by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, writing reflects human presence in the phenomenal world. Physical sensations of experience a horizon, moisture, a child, a piece of quartz, a loss become objects of focus and poetic elements. Her written lines, like strings of protein, both create and destroy bonds. Reading affords moments of exquisite vulnerability in which the perceived world is suddenly exposed to the quick. The pace of everday life slips into that of a waking dream. Winner of the 1998 Western States Book Award."...
|Number of Pages||:||78 Pages|
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Four-Year-Old Girl Reviews
you place sixteen girls in a meadow and always fill it. They're everyone, the world, implicit promiseHolding her face in my hands is holding a bowl from where I was bornWhen someone enters, there's effervescence, like the beginning of narrative, as of a corolla in the dark or your mind like the moon... You can see the other sideI saw the moon on wet sand I couldn't see through the cloudsThe form of her body by which she anticipates her power in a dream is light in a treeShe saw light on the mesa like neon furA species survives in the form of a girl asking sweetly
As always Mei-mei Berssenbruge manages to overweight her lyric so that the authenticity of the metaphor gets made into the reader's experience. It almost feels as though she spends so much time merging one image (the tree branches full of light) with the other (a person's emotional life) so that the whole act of creating a metaphor gets turned inside out. It's like getting to cut open your throat and esophagus so that you can watch yourself swallow--and there would be nothing interrupted by the wound!
Language is of a different scale here: familiar physics do not apply. If the connections between words and ideas is not obvious, the surface area of the words is broad, as if to compensate. Words approach the body with a unique self-awareness, functioning quasi-biologically, like organisms. Mind senses body senses world through their complex, multiple outer membranes. Exchanges are subtle, supple, earnest, transient. Charges buzz without strain. This is wonder without naïveté, somatics sent by diaphanous and rock-solid mechanisms, at the same time.
The kind of poet who doesn't just observe but actively attends to things, like the amazing notion that despite its resemblance to glass, there must be blood even in the wing of a dragonfly - that is my kind of poet. I LOVE these poems.
This book is more than abstract, but it also makes a lot of sense. The images are beautiful and woven in with scientific language about everything from body parts and systems to flower parts. Close-up images paired with abstract ideas and scientific terminology makes for good reading. Go, Mei-mei.
Every Seven Years.