3 Summers

Lisa Robertson. Coach House (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-55245-330-8
In her captivating latest collection, Robertson (Cinema of the Present) declares that “it’s time to return to the sex of my thinking,” musing on the materiality of the body as poem and the poem as body. Several of the collection’s 11 pieces were commissioned for specific projects, yet clear themes emerge: form, embodiment, borders and boundaries, repetition, time, and learning. “The work will be called the linguistics of the hormone,” she writes, nodding toward hormonal influence on bodily development. As each poem unfolds, the reader becomes attuned to the form, learning it on the fly. “You could say that form is learning,” Robertson writes, later echoing the sentiment: “repetition is never exact this is why/ form is learning.” The collection abounds with lists and litanies, a plethora of folds and sutures, organs and body parts. In places, those parts transform into objects or animals, as in “the hand is a rustic cheeseplate” or “the fingers are a phalanx/ of snakes or of fishes.” As if repeating elements of her own oeuvre reinforces its form and her study of it, Robertson sprinkles references to her previous work alongside considerations of Karl Marx, Lucretius, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Readers seeking resolutely playful intellectual experiments will find in Robertson “the juiciness and joy of form.” (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Ebook - 96 pages - 978-1-77056-480-0
Show other formats
Discover what to read next