9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Five times and counting I've purchased this book.,
This review is from: Kingdom Animalia (American Poets Continuum) (Paperback)
Aracelis Girmay's second collection "Kingdom Animalia" has been one of the definitive voices of my life since line one, poem one. Its precise movements, its every detail an invitation, its reflection of an author who never stops seeing life as a mechanism for discovery, its wild hilarious, its heartbreak, and near proof that nothing in this world is ever truly gone.
We get to watch Girmay listen and give as the poems and narratives bloom from the page. In "Abuelo, Mi Muerto" she writes, "Abuelo, if the pigeons can wear / the same face in every city, / the same red feet, singing / the same songs & so on, / can't you come back, Abuelo? / Tell me which are the graves / I should visit & clean. Which river / I should bring my flowers to. / Which of the miracles / fills your marigold chest? / Which is the joke you loved the most? / What is the name of the desert / I should thank? Come back / in a body I can see from the window / of this crowded city train. / Board the train. Sit / beside me for a while & tell me things. / Do not let me mistake you / for a shadow or a gull. / & if I start to pass you on the street, / Abuelo, shout my name, shout / it, please. Tug my shirt or hair. / Make me turn. Just a moment. / Send me home with a message / my mother will believe." This motor threads the entire collection. She has gifted us a new translation for the language of the world. Of the lines of history that have birthed us. You leave these pages knowing metaphor has always been reality, and that memory is its own lifetime.
Be careful. It's not enough to read Kingdom Animalia. Your body will make a community of it, and ache to place this book into all the hands you love most.