Customer Reviews

3 Reviews
5 star:
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful use of words, June 26, 2005
Torger Vedeler (New Haven, Connecticut) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Paperback)
Sonya Taaffe is, first of all, a wordsmith. She knows language and she knows how to use it to evoke emotion. This collection features an excellent sampling of her poetry and some short fiction, each piece evoking a different mood, from the raging to the sublime.

Each reader will take something different from this collection, of course, as befits fine poetry. As with so much of Taaffe's work, mythology is strong here. For me, standout pieces include Matlacihuatl's Gift, which won a Rhysling Award, Etemmu, which evokes old memories of Mesopotamia, and When You Came To Troy, which is raw and brutal in its honest depiction of the true horrors of war.

A gem of a collection. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sterling., March 1, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Paperback)
Sonya Taaffe, Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime, 2005)

Sonya Taaffe is one of the modern masters of the written word. Why is this? It's somewhat hard to explain, mostly because great writers each have a particular greatness. In Taaffe's case, I think, what happens is that while her word choice strays from the path of normal conversation, it never strays far enough that one gets tangled up in one's own feet reaching for the dictionary; thus, one has the sensation of reading something out of the ordinary without going as far afield as, for example, one gets in some of Cormac McCarthy's novels. Combined with a slightly off-kilter (for Americans, anyway) sense of diction and grammar-- which comes, no doubt, from a number of years studying classical languages-- the overall effect is one of studying work in a foreign language, but being able to read it in one's native tongue. Assuming, of course, one's native tongue is English. (If it reads like this in other languages, without translation, then we've really got something for the papers.)

Taaffe is part of a new, as yet to my knowledge nameless, movement in the written word, one that blends fantasy (be it high, low, or anywhere in between) with that highbrow litt-rat-chaw stuff that most fantasists wouldn't be caught dead reading. This is nothing new; most recently, the horror-of-absence writers (the most notable being Kathe Koja and Lucius Shepard) trod this ground, and trod it well. What Taaffe and her contemporaries (Catherynne M. Valente being the name that comes most readily to mind) is that while Koja et al. work rather hard to keep their language in the gritty of the everyday, the industrial, Taaffe and co. reborrow the richness of the language of fantasy; where you'd not think of a Lucius Shepard story as a fantasy were it not to contain ghost ships, talking lizards, or the like, Taaffe's writing approaches a mythic quality simply on word choice, the allusions made and the like rather than the subject matter. While her subject matter normally does run to the fantastic, it doesn't always, and it's in these pieces where the momentum of the work can be seen; "Storm Gods of the Connecticut River Valley" is an obvious choice for an example.

"...Rain washes his spectacles,

patiently, in streams; his hair never

blows askew. Come closer, and carefully,

to hear what keeps wind and tempest tuned

and true: the low notes are thunder, and

all the thousand voices of the falling rain."

(--"Storm Gods of the Connecticut River Valley")

Postcards from the Province of Hyphens is ostensibly Taaffe's first collection of poetry, but this is belied both by the fact that Singing Innocence and Experience contains poetry and this volume contains a few very short pieces of fiction; when it comes right down to it, isn't the messing about with the genre of the very things contained in the book, no matter what the outside of it says, just another part of the, for lack of a better term, genre-crossdressing going on here?

This is, simply put, beautiful work. Those who are already fans of poetry, if you're not yet aware of Sonya Taaffe, you should be; those who have not yet glommed onto the fact that poetry is the living soul of society may want to go for Singing Innocence and Experience first. You'll still get a bit of poetry there, and it should convince you that, eventually, you want to read this book, as well. In either case, evetnaully, you will likely get round to reading this book, and you will find it worthy. **** ˝
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5.0 out of 5 stars on Sonya Taaffe's "Postcards from the Province of Hyphens", February 24, 2012
This review is from: Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Paperback)
I had been reading Sonya Taaffe's unique and evocative poems for what seemed like a long time on the pages of different genre magazines. And I couldn't recall reading anything by her that I didn't like.

Her mastery of mythical allusions is unparalleled. There's intensity, a controlled obsessiveness in her poetry that is so distinctly Taaffe.

Here's a sample excerpt from the unforgettable "Cornerstones"

.... Their sounds
are stones: small solidities, integral, dense,
upon which everything lies. But our cities
are full of fears. Stones shift: we sacrifice
what is closest....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Most Helpful First | Newest First


Postcards from the Province of Hyphens
Postcards from the Province of Hyphens by Sonya Taaffe (Paperback - May 3, 2005)
$15.00 $13.50
Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.