Knopf. Mar. 2017. 96p. ISBN 9780451494726. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780451494733. POETRY
OrangeReviewStarRead this new collection from Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Zarin, and J.M.W. Turner comes to mind. (Or maybe George Inness.) In particular, it recalls Turner's late-stage work, when issues of craft have long been resolved and what we see is pure feeling, sublime and urgent: colors deeply layered and the surface stippled with brushes, hands, and rags to move the story along. We come away believing we know this field, this sunset, with our vagrant thoughts somehow captured and thrown in. Yet it is pure invention, as is Zarin's work. Her scenes are spun and layered in rich, swirling language. Here, for example, are lines from her title poem: "The cranberry bogs—plush seats at La Fenice,/ but the sky's aria after weeks of rain?/ Bee sting, a swarm of buttercups, mercury monogrammed with fever./ Three wishes?/ Even the simple know to ask for more—/ the baby's hand a star, the blinded/ measuring snake a Möbius strip." We are thrust into the eye of a storm by a sure hand.
VERDICT Zarin's fifth collection (after The Ada Poems) is essential reading for those seeking magic on the page.
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