failure

Curiosity and rarity

A review of Cynthia Cruz's 'Wunderkammer'

Photo of Cynthia Cruz (right) by Steven Page.

In her latest collection of poetry, Wunderkammer, Cynthia Cruz sets the stage for her readers with the first poem, Nebenwelt. In German, this term translates literally to “world next to/beside.” Paul Celan is given credit for coining the adjective nebenweltlich in his writing, using it to describe “a level of experience beside that posited as ‘real,’ namely a world of metaphorical transformation, specifically that of poetic language.”

The brain, a kaleidoscopic disco[1]

In her latest collection of poetry, Wunderkammer, Cynthia Cruz sets the stage for her readers with the first poem, Nebenwelt. In German, this term translates literally to “world next to/beside.” Paul Celan is given credit for coining the adjective nebenweltlich in his writing, using it to describe “a level of experience beside that posited as ‘real,’ namely a world of metaphorical transformation, specifically that of poetic language.”[2] The title Nebenwelt appears five times throughout this collection, as if to remind us that these poems enact an otherworldly landscape and a kind of diving into the unknown. Through the multivalent forces of Cruz’s language and metaphor, these poems transcend reality.

Kitsch

Rodríguez  home, "la azotea," 2013.  K Dykstra.
Rodríguez home, "la azotea," 2013. K Dykstra.

Catch and Release – an English phrase – is the title of a poetry collection composed in Spanish by Reina María Rodríguez.[1]  Throughout this book Rodríguez makes repeated reference to objects and occurrences that fall short of desires.  Her pattern of representing shortfall became a conscious element as she completed the composition of the book.

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