Marabou

Jane Yeh, Author
Jane Yeh, Author . Carcanet $12.95 (51p) ISBN 978-1-85754-788-7
Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 08/01/2006
Open Ebook - 52 pages - 978-1-84777-366-1
Ebook - 45 pages - 978-1-84777-631-0
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Yeh creates spectacular, lyrical costume dramas of yearning, existential fears and loneliness, casting herself as Ook the Owl from the Harry Potter films ("fluffed and plucked, like a beauty-pageant winner/ Between takes"), a woman mystically controlled by fine porcelain ("Delft in retrograde,/ Wedgwood rising"), a royal portrait consumed by flames, and a Chinese student in Paris in 1919, "broken-hearted and yearning for the softest of places." An American poet now living in London, Yeh stretches her lines from the courts of Renaissance Europe to the driveways and groves of contemporary suburbia in her search for a language as vivid as desire itself; lines tackle the differences that separate New England from its British originals, finding the same emotional frictions and anxieties in quite dissimilar spaces. Her symphonic, pressurized style finds sources in Sylvia Plath, in the aesthetes of the 1890s and in the playwrights of the 17th century, though the resulting synthesis could belong only to a poet of Yeh's uneasy, information-overloaded generation. This collection has already found attention in Britain, where it has made the shortlist for the Forward Prize for best first collection; Yeh could easily pull down bigger success here. (Feb.)

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