Yesterday, after a day of many meetings, I returned home to a treat: an advance copy of Jeannine Hall Gailey's She Returns to the Floating World. I'll be writing a more comprehensive review next week, but I could resist a sneak peek--and why not share my sneak peeks with you?
I loved Gailey's approach to fairy tales, and it looks like this volume will not disappoint. Consider "The Little Mermaid Has No Regrets": "I wore dresses that covered up the pale lengths, / in sea greens and azure blues, wove seashells into hair / and sang on a rock. None of it did any good."
Readers who wished that Gailey had gone further with her fascinations with Japanese culture will be happy with this new book. I'm seeing haibuns, a form I would know nothing about if Gailey hadn't written about them on her blog. I'm seeing references to anime and Japanese names and language.
For some of us, Japan brings up nuclear anxieties--well, maybe for most of us, what with the recent tsunami and nuclear reactor catastrophe. Some of us have earlier fears rooted in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I first discovered Gailey's apocalyptic strain through her work that appeared in Qarrtsiluni. I'm torn between which I like better, her fairy tale poems or her apocalyptic tinged poems. It looks like I'll have plenty to enjoy in this new volume.
In this current book, Gailey has also done much with mythology, for those of you who prefer mythology to fairy tales. I'm seeing intriguing approaches to reworked mythology, most from Japan. I'm not as familiar with Japanese myth, so I look forward to learning--and I'm happy to see some notes in the back.
So, if you haven't ordered this book yet, what are you waiting for? It will be released next month. And it only costs $12.00. We're not talking about a chapbook--we get over 100 pages of poetry. It's the best value for the money I've seen all year. Go here to order now.
Add She Returns to the Floating World to your summer reading list. You won't be sorry.
The Summer of Reading
5 weeks ago