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Engine Empire

Engine Empire

by Cathy Park Hong
Engine Empire

Engine Empire

by Cathy Park Hong


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"A brainy, glinting triptych . . . . Novelistic, meditative, offbeat, and soulful, Cathy Park Hong's poetry is many fathoms deep." —David Mitchell

Engine Empire is a trilogy of lyric and narrative poems that evoke an array of genres and voices, from Western ballads to sonnets about industrialized China to fragmented lyric poems set in the future. Through three distinct yet interconnected sequences, Cathy Park Hong explores the collective consciousness of fictionalized boomtowns in order to explore the myth of prosperity. The first sequence, called "Ballad of Our Jim," draws inspiration from the Old West and follows a band of outlaw fortune seekers who travel to a California mining town during the 1800s. In the second sequence, "Shangdu, My Artful Boomtown!" a fictional industrialized boomtown draws its inspiration from present-day Shenzhen, China. The third and last section, "The World Cloud," is set in the far future and tracks how individual consciousness breaks up when everything—books, our private memories—becomes immediately accessible data. One of our most startlingly original poets, Hong draws together individual voices at odds with the world, voices that sing their wonder and terror.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393346480
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/05/2013
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Cathy Park Hong is the author of Translating Mo’um and Dance Dance Revolution and has won a Pushcart Prize and the Barnard Women Poets Prize. She lives in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Table of Contents

Ballad of Our Jim

Fort Ballads 19

Ballad in O 26

Abecedarian Western 27

Ballad in A 28

Man that Scat 29

Bowietown Ballads 3

Ballad in I 36

The Song of Katydids 37

Shangdu, My Artful Boomtown!

Year of the Pig 41

Aubade 44

Market Forces Are Brighter Than the Sun 45

Adventures in Shangdu 46

The Engineer of Vertical Frontiers 56

A Little Tête-à-tête 57

Gift 59

Seed Seller's Sonnet 61

The World Cloud

Come Together 65

Year of the Amateur 67

Engines Within the Throne 68

A Visitation 70

The Infinite Reply 72

Ready-Made 73

Who's Who 75

A Wreath of Hummingbirds 77

The Golden State 79

The Quattrocento 81

Get Away from It All 84

Fable of the Last Untouched Town 89

Notes 95

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