Still: Poems

Still: Poems

by Sandra Meek
Still: Poems

Still: Poems

by Sandra Meek


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In her fierce new collection, poet Sandra Meek subverts Renaissance still-life painting in order to illuminate the perhaps irreparable natural and cultural harm inflicted by colonial forces, even those that manage to create a certain beauty from imperial spoils.

Still re-imagines the Renaissance concept of the studiolo, a room displaying cabinets of wonder, each juxtaposing human-made art objects, such as miniature still-life paintings, with natural ones—harbingers of the coming wonders and catastrophes of travel brought back from distant lands Europeans claimed as “discoveries.”

These poems shimmer with the wonders of the natural and aesthetic worlds—and in doing so, reckon with environmental, colonial, and sexual violence, with the oppression of silencing as well as the reclamation of voice. In confronting violations of body, family, culture, and nature, Still gives voice and image not only to what is still, what has been stilled, and what is in danger of being forever stilled, but also to the marvel of survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780892555055
Publisher: Persea Books
Publication date: 01/14/2020
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Sandra Meek is the author of five previous books of poetry, most recently An Ecology of Elsewhere, which earned her the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year and the 2017 Peace Corps Writers Award in the poetry categories. She is also the editor of an anthology, Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad. Meek is Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric and Writing at Berry College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

A certain angle, itself 3

Still Life with Dysphonia 7

1st Cabinet

Still Life with Cupped Ear 11

Still Life with White 14

Still Life with Flag Trees and Bone Chandelier 20

Still Life with Scenic Drive: Strix varia (Barred Owl), Bikers, and Boar Hunters 23

Still, with Severed Tongue: Cymothoa exigua (Tongue-Eating Isopod) and Lutjanus guttatus (Spotted Rose Snapper) 25

2nd Cabinet

Still, with Glacier Mouse and Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots 31

Still Life with Turkey Buzzards (Cathartes aura) and Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) 33

Still Life with Cochineal and Zapata's Last Supper 34

Still Life with Damnosa Hereditas and Dark Constellations: USS Arizona and Llullaillaco Maiden 36

Still Life with Zodiac Boat and Glacier Lagoon 45

3rd Cabinet

Still, with Judas Goats 49

Still Life with Wisteria Syndrome and Marula 51

Still Life with Phantom Crane Fly and Vanity Mirror 53

Still, with Trip 56

Still Life with Lightning Whelk and Columbarium 59

4th Cabinet

Still, with the Coming Extinction of the Southern African Donkey 63

Still Life with January 66

Still, with I 69

Still Life with Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) 71

Still Life with Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) 73

Still Life with Evolution: Amblythynckus cristatus (Marine Iguana), Fernandina, Galapagos 77

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