Chinoiserie

Karen Rigby. Ahsahta (SPD, dist.), $17.50 trade paper (72p) ISBN 978-1-934103-25-8
Ekphrasis serves as form and method in Rigby’s debut, in which poems on masterpieces—from an illuminare of Adam and Eve by the Boucicaut Master and workshop to an oil by O’Keeffe, from Sunset Boulevard to a Da Vinci design for a flying machine—embellish what we already know: in “Design for a Flying Machine,” Rigby writes, “The sketch contains a faceless man, an X/ across his chest, the parachute/ dreamed centuries too soon.” Other poems employ careful description—sometimes rococo, sometimes abstract—to guide readers through dramatized self-portraits (“everything I know about beauty I learned/ from the body’s ruin”) and landscapes of mixed images (“DETOUR. Milk crate./ The molten globe// on a glassblower’s rod” conjures, for instance, Pittsburgh). Written under the sign of contemporary masters like Jorie Graham, Rigby’s poems—some clusters of textured language, others long-lined assays splaying the page—seem to delight in the markings left by their own making. Where oblique, we appreciate the mysterious attempts. Where approximate, we can glimpse the meanings we bring. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012
Release date: 01/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.