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Ardor by Karen An-hwei Lee

Synopsis | Reader’s Companion | Selected Poems | Reviews
Karen An-hwei Lee

$16.95 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-932195-69-9
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Ardor is a book-length poem comprised of lucid dreams, letters, and prayers with the sensual feminine awareness of C.D. Wright, the radiant spirituality of Fanny Howe, the playful erudition of Anne Carson, and the linguistic play of Myung Mi Kim. Ardor employs ecstatic utterances, linguistic migrations, silences, and women’s voices in a feminine consciousness lingering on the mystery of love and glossolalia, speaking tongues in the context of a lyric postmodern aesthetic.

Reader's Companion

Download a free PDF Reader’s Companion for Karen An-hwei Lee’s Ardor.

Selected Poems

A man who desired to make love

Desired to hear the sound of tearing silk

Emerald silk and watered silk, old sienna

Women lined up on the street

No matter the original dye, indigo

Nervous quality of love

Tearing open error

This man, drinking heavily, dark and wilted

Orange lately salmon-colored, falling

Curled lilies parched and falling

Who is coming? asked one of the women

Lining the street for poultry sales

Didn’t observe which way he turned

She and the others never looked back

High spirits waned as our boat turned late

Through a dense patch of fragrant lotus

Oaring and oaring, rowing
… .


Barbara Jane Reyes received an Advance Reader’s Copy of Karen An-hwei Lee’s Ardor. Her analysis of the book is quite illuminating; Barbara Reyes is clearly a very attentive reader. Consider this couple of lines: "In Ardor, there is a recurrent I or a she who is a blind woman, and this is ironic, given the concern with ophthalmic texts; as well, Lee’s work is so full of such deep and luscious color: terra cottas, walnuts, cabernets, coral violets, blue raspberries, peach colored roses, azalea, and human heart as pomegranate or pomegranate as human heart. But we can also experience the beauty of these intensely, using our other senses."