Synæsthesium: Poems

Synæsthesium: Poems

by Moira Egan


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Synæsthesium is an unusual exploration of ekphrasis—poetry that takes a real or imagined work of art as its muse. The first half of the book, Olfactorium, is inspired by various fragrances and the olfactory flashbacks—real or imagined—induced by them. From everyday Old Spice to exotic Casbah, the poems take the reader on journeys peppered with the luscious language of perfumery. The second part, Love and Work, is based on the works of Suzanne Valadon, the bold and unconventional model-turned-artist, peer and probable lover of Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other painters. The poetic forms—sonnets, syllabics, a villanelle, a rondeau—reflect the content of the paintings and drawings of this great and under-appreciated artist.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594039782
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 12/19/2017
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Moira Egan’s previous books are Botanica Arcana/Strange Botany (Italic Pequod, 2014); Hot Flash Sonnets (Passager Books, 2013); Spin (Entasis Press, 2010); La Seta della Cravatta/The Silk of the Tie (Edizioni l’Obliquo, 2009); Bar Napkin Sonnets (winner of The Ledge 2008 Poetry Chapbook Competition); and Cleave (WWPH, 2004). Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2008; The Book of Forms; The Book of Scented Things; and Measure for Measure. With her husband, Damiano Abeni, she has published more than a dozen volumes in translation in Italy, by authors such as Ashbery, Barth, Bender, Ferlinghetti, Hecht, Simic, Strand, Charles Wright, and others. She lives in Rome.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Moira Egan’s Synæsthesium , like a unique perfume in a beautiful ask, expertly mingles the base-notes of memory and desire, art and womanhood, in the clear container of form. She writes from deep within the senses, but she spills nothing, with assurance of her craft. When we read these poems, we find that our own senses are renewed.

—Carol Ann Duffy

There is no one writing like Moira Egan. No one. These poems detail irreverent discoveries and always- vivid excursions into unknown worlds. Whether those worlds lie behind the velvet ropes of a bar, the locked-in lush temptation of a gated garden, or in a mother’s history, Egan takes us to places where, at first, you may think you’ve been but, oh no, you definitely haven’t. You may have seen a river wear the gold of sunset followed by the cloak of night; but, I promise, you’ve never seen it like this. Synæsthesium is absolutely gorgeous. The final poem will leave you with chills. Egan has given us one hell of a book.

—Erica Dawson

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