21 March 2008

5-star review for Chiaia

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A new favorite, December 19, 2007
By Sayuri Sato (Fort Lee, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
Interesting stuff. This book of poetry explores East Asia and a little bit of everything. The book is like a camera that zooms in with hypersensitive detail and pans out with an overall impression of the world. It is hard for Westerners to visit East Asia and write about it thoroughly yet clear and simple.

I really enjoyed part 1 of the book, the Ten Poems about East Asia section. They are each short, unique, snapshots of ten different locations. I liked it because I have traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and many of these poems take place in that lovely region. The author subtly talks about the histories and politics of each place while focusing on the scenery and everyday routines.

I love the title of part 2 of the book: Kitsch Nebula Ampersands And. It matches the cover and is very witty. Here the author is experimental because with every poem he tries something different, which I found very exciting. In one part he catalogues conversations between a mushroom and a person. In one poem he considers typesetting as painting. In another he writes the poem like it is HTML code--a new common language in out generation. In one of my favorites, he writes a haiku about death. He calls it a "Daiku" which made me laugh out loud.

Afterward, I had the sensation of having traveled when actually I hadn't moved anything but my eyes, imagination, and fingers.

Great read. The poems blend many things together.

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