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Republic of Mercy

by Sharon Wang

$17.95 $8.08

“Despite its attunement both to elegy and to witness, the mode is praise: ‘He loved the world. He loved it suddenly / and without reason.’ . . . As the poet works to understand, ‘If in fact it wasn’t possible to build / the world anew,’ she does build––extravagantly, judiciously, lovingly. The result is a book of radiant integrity.” — from the judges’ citation for the Kundiman Poetry Prize

Format: paperback

Winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, chosen by Cassandra Cleghorn and Jeffrey Levine

 In Sharon Wang’s thrilling and corporeal geometry, touch dominates, if often in its ‘aftermarks’: singes, whiffs, folds of fabric, echoing gestures between bodies. With generous language and quicksilver intelligence, Wang expresses ‘a hunger so large it stops the mouth.’ Her poems describe what is ‘hard and brilliant,’ the spaces between objects, and what’s left in the wake of losses. 

“Despite its attunement both to elegy and to witness, the mode is praise: ‘He loved the world. He loved it suddenly / and without reason.’ . . . As the poet works to understand, ‘If in fact it wasn’t possible to build / the world anew,’ she does build––extravagantly, judiciously, lovingly. The result is a book of radiant integrity.” — from the judges’ citation for the Kundiman Poetry Prize

Story

We knew before the thing
happened but what good did it do.
Like learning/ a nursery rhyme,
reciting, he was a good horse.
Branches bending/ then flowers,
a flash occurred. We must have
looked up. Sounds, low,
and the swaying of each sound—
they felt like sightings of
one dark animal, then another,
breaking up a line of hills.
I heard each syllable, discernable
and discrete. If there is any sort
of order in, say, a hand placing
flowers down into the room
a light crashes into. If an act tugs
another act the way the moon
tugs at threads of water. And threads
of water tug at a surface/ netted,
rippling, fallible mirror, false surface
in which limbs could submerge
under black and rolling liquid.
I breathed into his open mouth,
I think. One of us tossed a pebble,
a stranger observed where it struck.

Additional information

Weight .4 lbs
Dimensions 6 × .5 × 9 in

Sharon WangSharon Wang’s poems have appeared in Blackbird, Tupelo Quarterly, Anti-, OmniVerse, and The Volta. She earned an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and currently lives in the Boston area, where she works as a web developer. This is her first published collection.

 

 

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