9780807128725 / 0807128724

Notes from the Divided Country


3.87 avg rating112 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Louisiana State University..., 2003



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About the book:

Winner of the 2002 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. In her first collection, Suji Kwock Kim confronts a number of very difficult subjects-colonialism, the Korean War, emigration, racism, and love. She considers what a homeland would be for a divided nation and a divided self: what it means to enter language, the body, the family, the community; to be a daughter, sister, lover, citizen, or exile. In settings form New York to San Francisco, from Scotland to Seoul, her poems question "what threads hold / our lives together" in cities and gardens, and battlefields and small towns. Across the no-man's-land between every "you" and "I," her speakers encounter, quarrel with, or honor others, traveling between the living and dead, between horror over the disastrous events of the past and hope for the future. Drawing upon a wide range of voices, styles, and perspectives, Notes from the Divided Country bears witness to the vanishing world. Here is a rare new talent in American poetry, showcased in this dazzling debut. Whatever you meant to love, in meaning to You changed yourself: you are not who you are, Your soul cut moment to moment by a blade Of fresh desire, the ground sown with abandoned skins. And at your inmost circle, what? A core that is Not one. Poor fool, you are divided at the heart, Lost in its maze of chambers, blood, and love, A heart that will one day beat you to death.

-from "Monologue for an Onion"

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