|Phoneme Media´s Bilingual |
edition translated by Hilary Kaplan
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a blend, a mix, a jumble– a Rilke Shake. In Angélica Freitas’(@rilkeshake) collection of quirky poems the lively samba does not call her to the streets. Her “Rite of Passage” is composed of neighborly looks that silently deduce her identity with questions unspoken and answered before they are never asked. The author prefers her "Blake toasted– and buttered." Angélica claims to never have read Chaucer but does not lay down to this assumed literary inefficiency. She throws this fact into the mix of ingredients that is ironic, pithy, and concisely reflective showing that her literary antecedents are content and thickset without Chaucer at their table. The reader will find popular Brazilian culture and other global elements flipped and agitated, or mixed as the title suggests. What better way to take this approach than through poetry? Freitas’ does not hold back. The emotion and tone blends a nostalgia of love, and childhood memories, with a yearning desire that articulates past with future, resulting in a raw exposition of the present that suggests numerous lenses and angles exist and that they may be better shaken up rather than straightened and ordered. In the poem "October thirteenth" the poet directly concludes that she cannot finish the poem. It struck closely to what Alejandra Pizarnik has said about finishing a poem, “you cannot finish a poem, it’s not done, the poet abandon’s it, the reader must finish it.” Just like a good ol’ American milkshake, you cannot chug it, you have to pucker up and suck hard at the beginning because it’s too fun and exciting not too. However, you will quickly realize that the pace sets to a slower rhythm until it melts a bit- read melting as accustoming. As I accustomed to Freitas’ style and flow–when the consistency of the shake thinned out–I was able to finish it like all readers are invited to. Hilary Kaplan’s translation is scrupulous. The translator’s note, is strategically placed to conclude the collection with coherence which personally helped me to finish even more satisfied, jovially licking my lips leaving me with sticky fingers. Upon finishing this book of previously blogged poems, one is going to need a few napkins to clean up after the beautiful mess from delighting in Angélica Freitas` Rilke Shake. “Surrender your Mallormé, olé” and read Phoneme Media’s irreproachable bilingual edition of Rilke Shake.
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