In her new volume of poetry, Sylvia Geist, whose lyricism has been described as a matchless fusion of surefire scientific assurance and unadulterated poetic instinct verging on the somnambulistic, entrances the reader by allowing “objects to dream,” leaving us spellbound by their weightlessness.
“Before we leave/the objects begin to struggle/some are deceived/in themselves/and become suddenly radiant”. As she captures departure, leave-taking and valediction in a single sentence, Geist’s images seem suspended in time, afloat in a spirit world so serene it robs them of shape and identity.
In Gordisches Paradies she once again proves herself a virtuoso of effortless changes in direction, displaying at the same time a remarkable musicality exemplified by the cycle of poems from which the volume takes its name. Whether she’s examining a caterpillar under her lyrical microscope, reliving childhood nightmares or discovering a new Shangri-la on the Pacific coast – whatever the register, these poems are sustained by Geist’s poignant affinity with the subjects she describes.
With great intensity the poems tell of the quest, loss and retrieval of love for life, triggered by the most inconspicuous and marginal phenomena. Like Ariadne, Sylvia Geist spins the finest of threads to help us grope our way out of the darkness and back through the maze to a place where “the air tastes so delicious/you want to drink it.”
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