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The Ruined Elegance: Poems

The Ruined Elegance: Poems

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The Ruined Elegance: Poems

Longueur:
67 pages
40 minutes
Sortie:
Sep 29, 2015
ISBN:
9781400873432
Format:
Livre

Description

A lyrical collection that explores the interplay between poetry and history

In her new collection, Fiona Sze-Lorrain offers a nuanced yet dynamic vision of humanity marked by perils, surprises, and the transcendence of a "ruined elegance." Through an intercultural journey that traces lives, encounters, exiles, and memories from France, America, and Asia, the poet explores a rich array of historical and literary allusions to European masters, Asian sources, and American influences. With candor and humor, each lyrical foray is sensitive to silence and experience: "I want to honor / the invisible. I'll use the fog to see white peaches." There are haunting narratives from a World War II concentration camp, the Stalinist Terror, and a persecuted Tibet during the Cultural Revolution. There are also poems that take as their point of departure writings, paintings, sketches, photographs, and music by Gu Cheng, Giorgio Caproni, Bonnard, Hiroshige, Gao Xingjian, Kertész, and Debussy, among others. Grounded in the sensual, these poems probe existential questionings through inspirations from nature and the impermanent earth. Described by the Los Angeles Review of Books as "a high lyricist who refuses to resort to mere lyricism in order to articulate her experience," Sze-Lorrain renews her faith in music and poetic language by addressing the opposing aesthetics of "ruins" and "elegance," and how the experience of both defies judgment.

Sortie:
Sep 29, 2015
ISBN:
9781400873432
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Fiona Sze-Lorrain is a poet, literary translator, editor, and zheng harpist. The author of two previous books of poetry in English, My Funeral Gondola and Water the Moon, she also writes and translates in French and Chinese. She lives in Paris.

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Aperçu du livre

The Ruined Elegance - Fiona Sze-Lorrain

THE RUINED ELEGANCE

PRINCETON SERIES OF CONTEMPORARY POETS

Susan Stewart, series editor

For other titles in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets see page 63

THE RUINED ELEGANCE

Poems

Fiona Sze-Lorrain

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS

Princeton & Oxford

Copyright © 2016 by Princeton University Press

Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540

In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 6 Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TW

press.princeton.edu

Jacket image: Cy Twombly, Untitled VII (Bacchus), 2005 © Cy Twombly Foundation.

All Rights Reserved

The epigraph is from The Desert of Love: Selected Poems, by János Pilinszky, translated by János Csokits and Ted Hughes (Anvil Press Poetry, 1989), 26. Reprinted by permission of Anvil Press Poetry.

Lines from Pensées, by Blaise Pascal, translated with a revised introduction by A. J. Krailsheimer (Penguin Classics, 1966; rev. ed., 1995), 29. Copyright © 1966, 1995 by A. J. Krailsheimer. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.

ISBN 978-0-691-16750-3

ISBN (pbk.) 978-0-691-16769-5

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014959230

British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available

This book has been composed in Adobe Garamond and Scala Sans

Printed on acid-free paper. ∞

Printed in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

I   WRONG EPIC

Given Silence   3

Towering   4

I Wait for the Ruined Elegance   5

Back from the Aegean Sea   6

In the Thick of It   7

Ionian Supper   9

Partita, but Nothing to Do with Bach   10

Few Days before Christmas   13

II   IN A GODLESS TIME

Beginning   17

Spring Massacre   18

Mausoleum   19

Backstage   20

Day Seven   21

Center of a Journey   22

Am I What the Lake Gave Me   23

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