- Tapa blanda: 87 páginas
- Editor: Alice James Books (6 de mayo de 2014)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1938584058
- ISBN-13: 978-1938584053
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
Split (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 6 may 2014
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"Vuelva a intentarlo"
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"Split crosses borders, exposing truths and dreams, violations of body and mind, aligning them until the deep push-pull of silence and song become a bridge. And here we cross over into a landscape where beauty interrogates, and we encounter a voice that refuses to let us off the hook."Yusef Komunyakaa
Perhaps the writers most difficult task is to render the catastrophic linked non-stories that comprise transgenerational trauma. Cathy Linh Ches collectionSplit accomplishes this nearly impossible challenge with uncommon grace and power. Each poem unwinds the cataclysm of personal wounding by making itself irresistibly beautiful. LA Review
In this stunning debut, we follow one woman's profoundly personal account of sexual violence against the backdrop of cultural conflict deftly illustrated through her parents' experiences of the Vietnam War, immigration, and its aftermath. By looking closely at landscape and psyche, Split explores what happens when deep trauma occurs and seeks to understand what it means to finally become whole.
I open my chest and birds flock out.
In my mother's garden, the roses flare
toward the sun, but I am an arrow
I am Persephone,
a virgin abducted.
In the Underworld,
I starve a season
while the world wilts
into the ghost
of a summer backyard.
My hunger open and raw.
I lay next to a man
who did not love me&emdash;
my body a performance,
his body a single eye
a director watching an actress
I was the clumsy acrobat.
When he came, I split open
like a pomegranate
and ate six of my own ruddy seeds.
I was the whipping boy.
Thorny, barbed wire
wound around a muscular heart.
Cathy Linh Che is a Vietnamese American poet from Los Angeles, CA. She has received awards fromThe Asian American Literary Review, The Center for Book Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Hedgebrook, Kundiman, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council'sWorkspace Residency, and Poets & Writers. She is a founding editor ofPaperbag.
Biografía del autor
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Throughout Split, the narrative of rape and displacement is coupled with a narrative of silencing. There is the cousin who silences the girl he rapes with "just a shush in the dark", the brother who did not speak out even though "he would not leave, watching even as the toaster pinged", the mother who says, "He's just playing with you, and stroked my forehead." This conspiracy of silence, tender and complicit, becomes part of the violence inflicted on the speaker.
The silence intentionally and unintentionally imposed on the speaker is derived from the silence imposed on the older generation, who are victims themselves of rape and violence in Vietnam. In those poems, the mother who witnesses the rape of a village girl does not say, "It could have been me," but rather "She survived and could not marry." The father who was a soldier for twelve years hardly speaks at all, "his psyche shot through, shrapnel still lodged in his scalp." A grandmother on her deathbed "couldn't speak. Her teeth kept grinding like a machine's stuck gears." And in Vietnam itself, "No one talked of the war, but history was in the billboards, in the films the tourists watched."
But the act of keeping silent does not make the past go away. For the family in Split, memories of their traumatic past haunts them like a reoccurring nightmare. For the mother "The ghosts kept knocking on her body's thick walls. She refuses to let them out." For the father, "He mistook the Macy's star for the Viet Cong flag"; the most American of logos is permeated with the images of the past. For the speaker herself, living silently for years in the shadow of abuse, "my story's an arrow pointing back" so that "if memory were a suitcase, mine is overstuffed."
But Split is a voice that refuses to be silenced. In spare and harrowing poems, the speaker tells her truth, naming names, telling when, where and what happened. "I was four, I was eight, I was twelve," she says, "I was the flower girl at his wedding." She tells of the impact of those events: "My childhood hand has not grown up since then" and "it hurt to be touched." It is as if the abusers were on trial, and the witness does not mince her words. In other poems, the speaker wills herself towards renewal through the act of writing: "What I seek is redemption," she says, "An arrow joining a split heart" and "I want to rewrite everything." In language that is spare, punchy, and laden with beautiful imagery, Cathy Linh Che shows that she is the authority of her own story, the one who "can crown myself with my own life." Split is a story of witness and redemption, of the power of poetry to heal the wounds of abuse, war, and history.
I read a lot of poetry and think this book connects in ways many poetry books don't. I imagine it would be a great read also for someone who's not necessarily into poetry.