Some Say the Lark

Jennifer Chang. Alice James, $15.95 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-1-938584-66-4
Wide-ranging in form and approach, this new collection from Chang (The History of Anonymity) is gracefully unified by a set of related questions: What does the lyric imagination make possible for an individual in solitude? Is all of thought a conversation with the “small philosophies” of the everyday? When does loss become a distance that even the most imaginative work cannot traverse? As Chang teases out possible answers to these ambitious questions, each dynamic formal shift, each nimble swing in register, reveals a different kind of quiet; a fresh consideration of familiar attempts to “redress sorrow” in a way that is more real and true. “I loved my errors senseless/ and was not sisterly,” Chang writes. “Do you forgive?” Here, the gorgeously fractured syntax, the presence of a subject and a verb with no object, subtly speaks to the speaker’s grief. In losing another, the speaker loses narrative and the ability to make meaning from experience. Chang also features more conventionally lyric work in the collection, and her adept transitions between poems give readers insight into her sustained consideration of both the beauty and failure of the lyric imagination. Each disparate form, each tonal variation allows Chang to articulate a “sorrow,” a “never,” a “minor captivity” that is unsayable in any other way. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 10/10/2017
Ebook - 978-1-938584-71-8
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