Seasons Readings 2023 EDITION!

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Making strange to yourself

Making strange to yourself

ISBN: 9780888012296
Author: Audrey Poetker

Audrey Poetker's new poetry is about "what the heart imagines," about times of "burning, shining faith" and moments when "the train disappear[s] and/[your] heart [does] not even yearn." These poems are about the power of love to invent and destroy, love as "a place to begin from" and love that lets you forget until "there is not even a whisper of your past that follows you into the streets." The book is divided into two parts: "Symbols of fertility" and "The stranger in your skin." The poems in "Symbols of fertility" move to the centre of the self where "something is waiting to be born." These poems insist on claiming a beginning, inventing a home through lovemaking, through marriage between a young wife and an old husband. The body is a place of beginning, a place of love, with its undertow of fear (fear of loss, absence, and death). These poems are also about the body's emptiness and betrayals, the sorrow of childlessness so deep it enters a place where imagination, dreams, and stories invent the children that elude conception. And always, there is the knowledge that "half the world is dark/and nothing can be changed/by wishing it." In "The stranger in your skin," the poet moves beyond the central relationship and writes of a pervasive personal sense of homelessness. A stranger even to the self, she searches the world over for love in other languages, other cultures, other countries, and "the only thing you want/or have ever wanted, is a kiss from a stranger." You become so lost you ask, "and would that/put an end to the fear, if no one knew your name/only skin and desire, and called you beloved." Making strange to yourself beats with a great, raw desire to know and experience; the poems "rage with truth," refusing to repent of falling from grace; they sing their steadfast faith in the body, love and desire greater than any religion; they chant their incantations, moving us to deeper sorrow, and greater longing and imagination.

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