Wednesday, July 30, 2008
TEN SONGS FROM BULGARIA by Linda Nemec Foster
When I read and reviewed Linda Nemec Foster's Amber Necklace from Gdansk several years ago for the Sarmatian Review, I knew that I was reading an essential Polish-American poet.
This sense has only increased as I've read more and more of her poetry over the years.
I'm looking forward, therefore, to her recently announced chapbook from Cervena Barva Press, Ten Songs from Bulgaria.
Here's one of the poems from the book:
TWO VLADIMIRS AT THE WINDOW
Small lives, small lives,
we are trapped inside
small lives. Call this window
a prison of rotten wood; the hinges
a broken lock that still won’t release us.
Call us the curse of clouded mirrors,
the blank faces of the soul
stuck inside an old kaleidoscope.
Small lives, small lives. We hum and chant
to the silence outside the frame.
Here's what Faye Kicknosway, one of the book's early readers, said about it:
These poems evoke--in their concision and clarity--intense, disturbing images of lives shredded into pieces so small all that’s left is the memory of having endured. They are caged inside the empty space of the page, which seems to want to suffocate their spare, fragile, incredible beauty. Each image speaks a world that is window and mirror of what we hide from in the fabricated assemblages we make against the truth these poems speak.
The book is available from The Lost Book Shelf.