- 14,99 €
Sara Eliza Johnson's stunning, deeply visceral first collection, Bone Map (2013 National Poetry Series Winner), pulls shards of tenderness from a world on the verge of collapse, where violence and terror infuse the body, the landscape, and dreams: a handful of blackberries offered from bloodied arms, bee stings likened to pulses of sunlight, a honeycomb of marrow exposed. “All moments will shine if you cut them open. / Will glisten like entrails in the sun.” With figurative language that makes long, associative leaps, and with metaphors and images that continually resurrect themselves across poems, the collection builds and transforms its world through a locomotive echo—a regenerative force—that comes to parallel the psychic quest for redemption that unfolds in its second half. The result is a deeply affecting composition that will establish the already decorated young author as an important and vital new voice in American poetry.
Johnson's National Poetry Series-winning debut collection speaks to us "from a country near ruin,// from a forest lit only by rifle fire," where "the moon// ... rolls through you/ like a great city before a war." These poems are missives from landscapes so isolated they approximate post-apocalypse: ice fields, ravaged woods, the primordial sea. Johnson's landscapes are often empty, save for the single, clear-voiced speaker and, on occasion, wild animals such as the stag that catches "its antlers on the light's belly,/ spilling purple viscera/ everywhere." Surreal and fable-like, this is not a topical collection, and yet these poems are urgently aware that they were born of and into a world in which "Wind deepens the wounds// I leave with my boots. Nothing// is well." When Johnson's "war drones and swarms," her verbs double as nouns. This concern with the loss of integrity endured in a time of war marks a work that is equally preoccupied with the figuring of personal loss: "Your hands fell through me / two lights I almost broke// in half wanting." Johnson's poems, like light, clarify even as they pierce: "Though they cannot be deciphered,/ cannot become lighter,/ all moments will shine/ if you cut them open,/ glisten like entrails in the sun."