Further Adventures in Monochrome

Copper Canyon. 2012. c.158p. ISBN 9781556593963. pap. $15. POETRY
Chinese American poet/critic Yau, whose many titles include National Poetry Series winner Corpse and Mirror, here shows that poetry can tackle sociological issues while making language fresh. The poet assumes that with imagination giving daily experience meaning and beauty, a single chronicled reality can bring forth others, and his poems vividly record this act of becoming: "I am interested in what is, and what is not/ I try to find a way from one to another/ I don't like any, least of all mine." The often short, fragmented lines and crafty distribution of space give the poems a dynamic feel; some poems blend surrealism and parody so that past and present narrate each other. A dominant theme is identity, particularly exiled or marginalized identity, which Yau explores through the clever deployment of Asian symbols, as in the series poem "Genghis Chan: Privet Eye."
VERDICT Yau uses his heritage beautifully to enrich and expand his poetic adventure. Recommended for all poetry readers.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing