An intensely lyrical, elegantly modulated collection. . . . Song's careful, painterly eye makes her the mistress of small moments of perception that, strung together, expand into a larger frequently numinous understanding.
In choosing Cathy Song’s first book for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, Richard Hugo said that her poems are “bouquets to those moments in life that seemed minor but in retrospect count the most.”
In this, Song’s third book, the poems are like the school figures an ice skater etches onto the ice – the pen moving silently and deliberately across a white expanse of paper and experience, bringing maximum pressure to bear upon the blade of language to unlock “the invisible fire beneath the ice.”
In her third book, the marvelously named Song explores that endlessly complex terrain, the family, with delicate exactitude. . . .This is a busy, full book, what with its uncles and grandpas and gossipping aunts. Neither woundedly angry nor at nor sentimentally accepting of ehr family and its heritage, Song explores the nuances of intimacy with admirable clarity and passion.
Whether describing everyday errands or probing the depths of emotion, the poems in Song's third collection are at once vivid and fluid, short-lined rhythms, lend themselves to an understated assurance, allowing the poet to startle—even to shock.