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Image for Atopia


By: Simonds, Sandra

081957919X / 9780819579195
Published 01/05/2020
United States
152 x 229 mm 88 pages
Professional & Vocational  Learn More

Tallahassee. Tallahassee. Tallahassee. Your mist today is incredibleas it settles on this rose garden!When the largest rose shook off its dewand looked at me like a cartoon, I smiled backand promised not to break his neck. And here we are together again, walking in a parkthat honors dead children.

A tree planted for each childon such a mild day in December. And how the deadchildren stream through me, scrolls of them:Lily!

Rose! Bobby!Kierkegaard says anyone who follows throughon an idea becomes unpopular. And alsothat a person needs a system, otherwise youbecome mere personality.

He must not haveknown very many poets, so prone to tyrannicalshifts in mood.

Change in the weather is equal todon't let me go crazy.

In the car on the wayto school Charlotte says, "I like to be gentlewith nature because I like nature."But my mind wouldn't rest, system-less,as I drive through dread:Lily!

Rose! Bobby!You're dead, you're dead. Atopia grapples with the political climate of the United States manifested through our everyday lives.

Sandra Simonds charts the formations and deformations of the social and political through the observations of the poem's speakers, interspersed with the language of social media, news reports, political speech, and the dialogue of friends, children, strangers, and politicians.

The Los Angeles Review of Books characterized Simonds's work as "robust, energetic, fanciful, even baroque" and "a necessary counterforce to the structures of gender, power, and labor that impinge upon contemporary life." These poems reflect on what it means to be human, what it means to build communities within a political structure it also opposes.


DCF Poetry by individual poets

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