Hello, the Roses (Paperback)
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American poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge makes her New Directions debut with this breathtaking new collection
A poet of “epic perception” and “subtle music,” Mei-mei Berssenbrugge opens form into long, shimmering lines of profound emotional intensity and multivalent voices, splintered with space, silence, and desert light. Her new collection of poems, Hello, the Roses, is composed of three parts. The opening poems delve into an array of unities, of myth and landscape, fashion and culture, experience and forgetting, boys and ravens. The central poems explore an invisible world where plants, animals, and the self communicate and coexist. The final part contemplates the individual’s relationship to night, weather, and cosmological time as Berssenbrugge limns a karmic temporal continuum, a mandala of perception. Throughout are the roses, transforming slowly, almost imperceptibly,deepening awareness, creating fields: a rosette of civilization — a wild rose, a Delphic rose, imagined roses, white cabbage roses, an Apache rose, a Bourbon rose, our sacred mortality “saturated with being” in pink petals and gray-green leaves. Hello, the Roses is poetry enraptured with the phenomenal fullness of the world.
About the Author
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Empathy, Nest, and I Love Artists. A Lit Cloud, her recent collaboration with the artist Kiki Smith, was published by Galerie Lelong in 2012. She lives in New York City and northern New Mexico.
Every collection of poems by Berssenbrugge is a literary step forward. Hello, the Roses performs a quantum leap. The book is exhilarating. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions churn. With her powerful command of words redoubled by a meditative patience, she captures a secret rhythm, into which she weaves lines that surprise us with their accuracy, their submission to experience.
— Etel Adnan - Artforum
A vital hymn. Few living poets are as able to enter headlong into the spiritual state of our environment and its endangerment. Ethereal and metaphysical, Hello, the Roses presents one of the best minds in modern history.
— Major Jackson - The New York Times