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[Poetry Friday] Decolonizing Poetry

... in Natalie Diaz's "Postcolonial Love Poem."

Myra here.

Thank you to Molly Hogan at Nix The Comfort Zone for hosting this week.

Postcolonial Love Poem (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Natalie Diaz Published by Graywolf Press (2020)
ISBN: 1644450143 (ISBN13: 9781644450147). Literary Awards: National Book Award Finalist for Poetry (2020), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Poetry (2020). Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

When I learned about this book, I immediately purchased it for our reading theme. It has been making the rounds in quite a lot of book blogs last year, and it has also received literary recognition. It is a thin book, around 80 pages long, but the themes are pretty heavy-going. Some of the poems are too cerebral for me, and I did not fully understand some of the allusions, hence this could have blunted my emotional response towards the writing.

I enjoyed the unapologetically sensual lesbian nature of some of the poems – sort of like erotica-intellectual (if there is such a thing) – or erudite-erotica (for more alliteration). I am sharing here some fragments from the poems that reached out to me, and made me appreciate even more the postcolonial nature of this love poem book. I used Typorama to design the images below.

And here is another one:

Which one spoke to you more? Have you read this collection yet? Would love to hear your thoughts.

#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 20 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

6 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Decolonizing Poetry

  1. I don’t know this collection, Myra, yet the first seems clear for the need to immigrate. The line “toward what does not need us but makes us” feels so poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kay Mcgriff

    This collection is new to me. I resonated with the line in the first one: We must go beyond to a place where we have never been the center, where there is no center.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like to challenge myself with poetry that I struggle to understand, trying to get inside the images. This is one of those poets, it sounds like.
    “We must go until we smell the black root-wet anchoring the river’s muddy banks” is so sensual and drew me in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These two selections wowed me. The imagery in both poems is original and compelling.There’s so much room for interpretation here, but the first poem spoke to me of internal, personal journeys of discovery. By the way, I appreciated your honest comment that some of the poems in the collection were too “cerebral” for you. I often feel that I’m missing allusions or nuances. Glad to know I’m not alone! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Citizen of what savages you.” Or as I’ve heard it expressed elsewhere, “Loving a country that doesn’t love you back.” Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this–I’ve been reading about her election as a Chancellor of the Academy of American poets. Can’t wait to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

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