The Palace of Contemplating Departure

The Palace of Contemplating Departure

by Brynn Saito

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Overview

Brynn Saito's debut collection of poetry begins in a cityscape and ends "deep in the cloud-filled valley," traversing myriad terrains-both emotional and physical-as it weaves towards completion. From the bays of Denmark to the deserts of California, Saito's searching lyricism gathers stories of sudden departures, forced removals, and the journeys chosen in between. Narrative selections inspired by childhood, sisterhood, lost loves and newfound freedoms are cased by interludes of otherworldly visions and persona poems spoken from many perspectives-animal and otherwise. This is a book about the ever-present capacity for wonder, transformation, and change: "The fighter is in me," claims the speaker in the poem "Winter in Denmark," "and the future is in me." Inside every moment of rage or loss-beneath tough city sidewalks and under the quiet of a moonlit valley-is another moment, ripe with possibility and foretelling the future sky.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597097161
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Brynn Saito is the winner of Red Hen Press’s 2011 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award. Her poetry has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared in Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, and Drunken Boat, among other journals. Brynn was born in the Central Valley of California to a Korean American mother and a Japanese American father. She received an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in religious studies from NYU. Currently, Brynn lives in the Bay Area and teaches in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

I Ruined Cities

First Incarnation 19

Tuesday, 2 A.M. 20

Trembling on the Brink of a Mesquite Tree 22

City In Which I Love 24

Leaving New York 26

A Photograph is An Argument 27

The Palace of Contemplating Departure 28

The Exile 30

The Messenger 32

Cambria, Late Spring 33

Avignon, Early Summer 34

Winter in Denmark 36

Moonlight Over the Valley, Late October 38

II Women and Children

Cottonwood [Mother] 41

Climbing Bare Rock [First Daughter] 42

Upright Against the Redwood [Second Daughter] 43

Running, River [First Daughter] 43

Asleep in the Mapou [Son] 45

Indrawn Seas [Mother, Departing] 46

III Shape of Fire

Second Incarnation 49

Mercy Me 50

The Gathering Mind 51

Alma, 1942 54

Daughter 56

Shape of Fire 58

California Heartland 59

Waiting 60

Prayer For The One Who Could Not Stop Looking 62

Present In All Things 64

Tree of Life 66

Spring, San Francisco 67

Summer, San Buenaventura 68

Winter, Ithaca 69

Autumn in the Garden With Her Ghost 71

IV Steel and Light

Prologue 75

[Moonlight] 76

[Gun] 78

[Knife] 79

[Star] 80

[Tracks] 82

[First Daylight] 83

Coda: Deep in the Cloud-Filled Valley 84

Notes 85

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The Palace of Contemplating Departure: Poems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DaveyRJones More than 1 year ago
Saito's debut collection includes several asides into esoteric ambiguity like most. But what succeeds in her collection does so with such ultimate bravado. A deep wisdom lies in her words. She does best the portrayal of characters. This particular reader's favorite stanzas came from "Winter in Denmark." Truly a great read.