Foreign Wife Elegy

Overview

This debut collection bears witness to the compassion of nurses, the hardships of injury and illness, and the solitude brought on by marrying outside one’s culture. In these quiet and deceptively simple poems, Taniguchi’s words become a haven for human frailties and peaceful reflection.

The child of a Hiroshima survivor, Yuko Taniguchi was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1975. At the age of fifteen, she came to the United States alone and attended high school in Maryland. She studied...

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Overview

This debut collection bears witness to the compassion of nurses, the hardships of injury and illness, and the solitude brought on by marrying outside one’s culture. In these quiet and deceptively simple poems, Taniguchi’s words become a haven for human frailties and peaceful reflection.

The child of a Hiroshima survivor, Yuko Taniguchi was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1975. At the age of fifteen, she came to the United States alone and attended high school in Maryland. She studied at the College of St. Benedict/ St. John’s University and the University of Minnesota, where she received many awards for her poetry. Currently, she teaches -English at Rochester -Community and Technical College and lives with her husband in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"My language has its own world/ where it doesn't know how to live," and so Taniguchi learns to translate that world into words to make living easier. She writes to find her place, attempting to bridge the gap between her Japanese ancestry and Midwestern present. Her father is a Hiroshima survivor, and she has known the unsettling noise of American jets that "practice" and "cut through the sky like silver shears across blue cloth." Relocated, she confronts big issues, such as death, loneliness, and hope, some she brought to America, others she found here: "My husband asked me where I would go if he dies./ Foreign wives are homeless without their husbands." She finds an odd solace in the stories that her husband, a nurse, brings home from his job, and in her own way she turns them into a kind of love poem. "After Kathleen's death, my husband sat still like a white rose on a thin straight stem. After a night like this, what holds the layers of rose petals is not strength, but fragile hope that grows on and on out of nothing, and eventually turns into tears in the center of the stem." Taniguchi's poems are fresh and original, and in the solitude that comes from marrying outside her culture, she has found a firm ground on which to make her new home. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566891486
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Yuko Taniguchi, author of the critically acclaimed book of poetry Foreign Wife Elegy, was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1975. At the age of fifteen, she came to the United States and attended high school in Maryland, obtaining her collegiate degrees in Minnesota, where she continues to make her home.

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Table of Contents

Foreign Wife Elegy 11
Blue Eyes 12
Promise 13
Susan 14
Kathleen 15
His Day 16
Winter Race 17
Kiss 18
Small Disasters 19
After Working at the Hospital 20
Ocean 21
He Said 22
Foreign Words 23
Elegy with Music 24
Foreign Wife 25
Our Day 26
Grandmother's Mouth 29
Dying for Flowers 30
Red Sweater 31
Mother's Camellia 32
Ice Fishing 33
Mud Shoes 34
Traveling Rock 35
Waiting 36
New Year's Day 37
Another War 38
My Father 39
Name 43
Talking to Myself 44
Ichirou 45
Practice 46
Gold Hair 48
Henry the Handsome Fifth 49
Sam 50
Beating 52
Colony 53
Yellow Poems 54
Dark Room 56
Turning 57
Under the Sun 61
Scratching 62
Ingrown Toenail 63
Earthquake 64
Rain Dance 65
Feeding Birds 66
Lonely Week 67
Elegy for Cello and Orchestra 70
Human Noises 71
In the Middle Seat 73
Breathing 74
Soliloquy 75
Stillness 76
Going Home 77
Poem 78
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2004

    Excellent Poems!

    It is pure joy to read these sentible and beautiful poems! Fan Shen, Rochester, Minnesota

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