The Insomniac's Weather Report (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/4/20
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The Insomniac's Weather Report, originally published in 2011 as the winner of the Three Candles Press First Book Award, explores the impermanent boundaries that define and - due to their nebulous nature - fail to define the human condition: those between body and self, parent and child, energy and matter. Shifting between formal and prose poems, the myriad voices in this book include an insomniac struggling to delineate the edge between consciousness and sleep, and a couple trapped in a poem cycle that is itself an interlocking meditation on the oblique lines between self and other that constitute marriage. "Jessica Goodfellow's debut collection The Insomniac's Weather Report is admirably diverse in its approaches and structures and reads like 'a fugue of opposites', integrating the scientist's persistent enquiry and the philosopher's rarefied obsessions with this poet's highly tuned and unique sensibility 'in a blaze of form and discontent'. With their keen intellect and capacity to hold ambiguity, Goodfellow's poems are most successful when their complex abstractions are grounded in the body, image, and the human. For this reader, the power of these poems inhabits that space where logic and reason fail, efforts to name and place break apart, and chaos threatens to annihilate. This is a challenging and original debut." (Mari L'Esperance) "To say that The Insomniac's Weather Report is exquisitely thrilling poetry doesn't begin to do it justice. Wicked and funny as an encyclopaedia of unanswerable koans, elegant as a fifteenth-century flowered silk kimono portraying, perhaps, 'a hinge on a hingeless door', it is also savage - containing a hidden history of 'marriage, / perpetual stagger of desire / and resist' - and I found it irresistible, as will you, dear reader." (Alicia Ostriker)
Her poems center on the natural elements like water, in all of its various forms and uses; and a series of 30 poems built around the idea of a fugue and its various definitions. In between are nine “flotsam and jetsam” poems; however, even calling the section that relates the poems to the water theme.
Here is one of the water or weather-themed poems:
The insomniac flings pebbles at the clouds.
He says they won’t stop following him.
(If you keep secrets, you will drown.)
He howls obscenities into the wind.
He claims it goes right on talking about him.
(If you fail to keep secrets, you will burn.)
No one can convince him otherwise.
No one is awake.
(The patron saint of running water
Finally the rain runs itself dry
over the closed eyes of the insomniac
is also the patron saint of silence.)
The poems of “The Insomniac’s Weather Report” are filled with vivid and rich language; Goodfellow makes full use of the sounds of words to blend into the theme; one, entitled “Chance of Precipitation,” has words and structure that sound like a steady rain on a metal roof. It’s a fascinating collection.
Tools of antiquity--the compass, the straight edge--
could not square the circle, couldn't tame
its numberless sides. Arcs, curves, chords
of circles remain, tracing hollows of shells,
clawed waves, parabolas of sand. See
how matter curves around the emptiness,
how it cups and gently holds
the space where things are absent. . . .
There's a section in the book called "Alphabet: Fugue", a series of poems in which the titles are connected. "marriage: whisper:" becomes "whisper: birds:" becomes "birds: language:", etc. It's a lovely configuration, adding to the overall themes and forms central to the book. There's such lyricism and mystery in Goodfellow's world; this book is one you'll want to keep and read again and again.