cover image Tiger Girl

Tiger Girl

Pascale Petit. Bloodaxe, $16.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-78037-526-7

The vibrant poems on animals and nature for which Petit (Mama Amazonica) is rightfully known are fully realized in this dazzling work. Petit considers her family history, her grandmother’s Indian heritage, and the folklore that fills the speaker’s mind with images of animals, night markets, and shouting vendors. Petit’s gift for luminous juxtaposition shines: “The night is black as bear fur// its muzzle bleeding after eating honey/ baited with explosives.// How many rupees for the galaxies/ in a gallbladder?” Later, in the poem “In the Forest,” she describes the hide of a creature as “arabesques of bulldozed gardens,” declaring, “If it were possible to remake the creature/ from its pelt, I would do it// but the man sold the pelt/ because his family was hungry.” Petit’s poems are rich with such dramatic turns, offering her glorious imagery momentum. “My grandmother... for whom I would weed the world,” she recollects in one of the many poems that draw their energy from the woman she describes as “a hybrid rose... her face the map of India when it’s summer,/ the map of Wales in winter.” This mesmerizing collection is full of delights. (Nov.)