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Bone Light Paperback – February 15, 2009
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Orlando White's Bone Light recreates poetry from the molecular level.
His vision presents language letter by letter: as body, as recipe, as
originary myth, as admonition. Here, poetry moves stealthily through
the smallest increments, in the "pause between ink and letter when
words are silent, unclothed." In that bare space, poems keep time
through their own arcane measure and the reader sees a "human
clock"emerge, one whose face is as much halo as empty zero. This
astonishing writing dissects language with surgical and magical
precision. White peels back our assumptions like a skin and gives us
the irradiated, irreducible light of the bone.
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Top Customer Reviews
Motifs of light, bleach, skull, skeleton, zero, and bone create humming music that pervades readers' awareness. Trance-inducing drones occasionally part to admit glimpses of stepfather, dying grandfather, love in bloom, a mind in the process of transforming ineffable into language. This is a leap from the way you were taught to read poetry in high school, and I fear it may be jarring for inexperienced readers. But for seasoned readers it is a symphony.
Were I an editor, I'd suggest that Mr. White's musical theme is too small. As we approach the end, the repetition starts to seem overly long. At the same time, the book itself feels surprisingly short. Using even two or three more leitmotifs might carry the book further, give the poet more room to reveal himself, and prevent the momentum petering out as we get within seeing distance of the back cover.
But for those willing to subsume themselves in reading as a transcendent experience, "Bone Light" is a revelation of the power of poetry in a post-modern world. The back cover features an endorsement by White's fellow Diné poet Sherwin Bitsui, whose own verse achieves similar ends through slightly different avenues. If you like Bitsui, the power of language, or modern poetry as a field, give this book a try and see if it isn't exactly what you love.
Every Poem has its own unique characteristics that help them leap off the page
Refreshed the way I look at poetry.
Looking forward for writings to come