The Century

Éireann Lorsung. Milkweed, $16 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-57131-483-3
“I am trying to perform an excavation of a whole way of thinking,” Lorsung (Her Book) writes in her vivid and ruminative third collection. Lorsung’s project is one of both witness and revision, using “a language more open// than the language of forms” to contemplate acts of violence across history. From Pripyat to Nagasaki to Iraq, these poems investigate colonial, historical, and genocidal violence on both an everyday and mass scale. Some images are staggering in their vision; describing the horrors of radioactive fallout, she writes: “Some of their skin moved off of them as they ran, a very simple melting, like/ watching a person step smoothly out of themself.” Acknowledging that “The danger is beauty,” Lorsung uses her poetry to subvert the ease of resolution. She interrogates the privilege of whiteness in order, as she explains, “to make the testimony.” The result is a book full of investigative critiques of historical, often violent moments, in which there is “almost no language left at all.” Hope persists, however: in witnessing the past, Lorsung writes memorably toward a future. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 11/03/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Poetry
Book - 978-1-57131-946-3
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