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Foreign Bodies: Poems

Foreign Bodies: Poems

by Kimiko Hahn
Foreign Bodies: Poems

Foreign Bodies: Poems

by Kimiko Hahn


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A striking, shapeshifting volume from "one of the most fascinating female poets of our time (BOMB)."

Inspired by her encounter with Dr. Chevalier Jackson’s collection of ingested curiosities at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum, Kimiko Hahn’s tenth collection investigates the grip that seemingly insignificant objects exert on our lives. Itself a cabinet of curiosities, the collection provokes the same surprise, wonder, and pangs of recognition Hahn felt upon opening drawer after drawer of these swallowed, and retrieved, objects—a radiator key, a child’s perfect attendance pin, a mother-of-pearl button. The speaker of these moving poems sees reflections of these items in the heartbreaking detritus of her family home, and in her long-dead mother’s Japanese jewelry.

As Hahn remakes the lyric sequence in chains reminiscent of the Japanese tanka, the foreign bodies of the title expand to include the immigrant woman’s trafficked body, fossilized remains, a grandmother’s Japanese body. She explores the relationship between our innermost selves and the relics of our vanished past, making room for meditation on grief and the ephemeral nature of the material world, for the account of a nineteenth-century female fossil hunter, and for a celebration of the nautilus. Foreign Bodies investigates the power of possession, replete with Hahn’s electric originality and thrilling mastery of ever-changing forms.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393882445
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/22/2022
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,092,118
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Kimiko Hahn is the author of ten collections of poems. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Voelcker Award, and a Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. A distinguished professor at Queens College, CUNY, she lives in Queens.

Table of Contents

Unearthly Delights 1

Object Lessons-From Chevalier Quixote Jackson 2

A Dusting 15

The Old House Speaks 19

Charms i. 21

Constant Objection 22

A Little Safe 26

Hatchlings 30

The Ashes 31

Charms ii. 38

Sparkly Things 39

The Cryptic Chamber 42

Notes on March 10, 1992 54

Another Poem for Maude 56

Charms iii. 58

She Sells Seashells- Considering the Life of Mary Anning 59

Likeness-A Self-Portrait 71

Charms iv. 76

Foreign Body 77

After Being Asked If I Write the Occasional Poem 79

Alloy-An Apostrophe for Isamu Noguchi 80

Charms v. 83

Divine 84

The Nest in Winter 89

After Words for Ava 90

Essay: Nitro-More on Japanese Poetics 91

Afterword: The Bamboo Grove Where Various Individuals Mostly Think Aloud 99

Notes 103

Acknowledgments 107

Dedication 109

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