Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie Winner of the Sawtooth Poetry Prize selected by Paul Hoover Chinoiserie travels through centuries in poems that carve wonder from ruin from an illuminated manuscript to New York on the eve of

  • Title: Chinoiserie
  • Author: Karen Rigby
  • ISBN: 9781934103258
  • Page: 473
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, selected by Paul Hoover, Chinoiserie travels through centuries in poems that carve wonder from ruin, from an illuminated manuscript to New York on the eve of disaster, the Emperor s nightingale to neon aquariums A sensory flight, intricate in its vision, Ecclesiastic in its hunger, and brutal in its portrayal of a solitude that cWinner of the 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, selected by Paul Hoover, Chinoiserie travels through centuries in poems that carve wonder from ruin, from an illuminated manuscript to New York on the eve of disaster, the Emperor s nightingale to neon aquariums A sensory flight, intricate in its vision, Ecclesiastic in its hunger, and brutal in its portrayal of a solitude that could surrender to the hammer or the flame, this book of curiosities draws inspiration from 15th century masters, Japanese animation, mid century films, Marguerite Duras, and other sources Inspired by an art created miles from its origins to become its own translation of landscape, texture, and pattern, Chinoiserie disrupts boundaries between tribute and theft, reinvention and repetition It evokes the fanciful as well as a darker potentiality, seeking a language of pearl and roaring.

    One thought on “Chinoiserie”

    1. Chinoiserie is a beautiful but frustrating read, mainly due to its grandiose vocabulary and numerous allusions to movies, art, people, places and objects of which I had never heard and had to reference online. The imagery is beautiful yet haunting, as Rigby paints poetic still-lifes of the gilded cages in which we live, spirits trapped in skeletal structures: "The skull was never a tombor curio. A cagepicked cleanas if bone foretold lessons in turbulence."The words bone and spine are used repeat [...]

    2. In Chinoiserie Karen Rigby masters the minimalism that is essential for the hypnosis of the short poem. The writing is controlled in a way that leaves space for questions, but provides enough imagery for emotion as well as grounding in context. In this collection, Rigby displays her ability to both creatively retell an old story, like she does in the poem “The Story of Adam and Eve,” and the ability to create vibrantly unique new stories as she does in “Bathing in the Burned House.”Thoug [...]

    3. there are moments in a good book of poems that the reader might grunt or groan and simultaneously must press his or her hand or thump it even against his or her heart because those words have thudded and maybe your partner beside you in bed will look at you startled and wonder if you might need to go to the hospital because you look so striken so startled and you think this is good this is oh so good oh oh so good. i write this and i'm only on page eleven. and i've wanted to call up and share so [...]

    4. Once I entered thy rhythms of these poems I felt comfortable--it took me some moments to do so. Many lovely lines and word combinations that are still tumbling through my head. There were just a few places where an idea carried on for one line longer than I wanted. There's my prejudice against prepositional phrases. Here are some moments I liked:Think of the pearand its grainy room the color of parchment.The desert is a lion-colored seam. Tell mesomething new about the manicole acerage.

    5. Gorgeous language. I lingered and lingered over some poems and the deeper into this collection I got, the more I read, the more I loved the poems. The space they create feels so textured--something velvety about being in the middle of this book

    6. 3.5// im not sure if i just read this in too much of a rush and didn’t pay attention or if it was really just too cryptic and obscure for me to understand, but almost all of the poems in this were lost on me. i’ll probably read it again in a less busy time of my life to see if i can better appreciate it

    7. Favorite poems are - Design for a Flying Machine (Leonardo da Vinci c.1488), the Story of Adam and Eve (Boucicaut master and Workshop, c. 1415), and Lovers in Anime.

    8. From the unexpected images to lessons about implied repetition, this gorgeous, transnational collection of poems opened up a new space in reading poetry for me and I began to see the magic that happens between the words the writer imprints on the page and the imagination of the reader.

    9. I typically like poetry that is more concrete and accessible, but there is something pretty amazing about this small collection of poems. It lures you in. Chinoiserie is the first book in many years that I have started again as soon as I finished it.

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