1998
RawSilk SoieEcrue RohSeide
Poems by Astrid Brunner
ISBN 1895466067
Price: $33

RawSilk SoieEcrue RohSeideThough part of the AB collector publishing's chapbook series, this 257-page book is one of our most elegant productions. Poems and biographical prose are in English, German, and French. The poems are thematically related but not translated.

This Swiss/Canadian production is described by the Swiss promotion press under the title "Heimat und Heimatlos": "'I loved my homeland ever more than it loved me', said poet Astrid Brunner once. Here, hand in hand with Canadian photographer George Steeves, Brunner draws vignettes of her life story in the form of laconic, associative poems. Here nothing is impossible and everything true to this day: love, homeland, family, rape, motherhood, guilt and innocence, lies, exile and, ever-present as a comfort, the mountains. Brunner uses the rich background of Shakespeare, mythology, and the Bible, that as an academic she has made her own. The poems in this book may, however, also be read as simple road signs of life."

They may also intrigue as an alphabetical form game in the shape of the letter 'W' for 'Woman', with the last 'W' missing its lower-left to upper-right diagonal: from 'Aphrodite' to 'Zachanassian' to 'Aspasia' to 'Zoar' to 'Abraham' to 'Zeno' to 'Aegaeus' to 'Zeus' to 'Angebleu' to no one conclusion.

Woman's story is always unfinished. Poet George Elliott Clarke pronounced this book "...a masterpiece that puts many other books to shame." [Halifax Sunday Chronicle Herald].

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