Hello, the Roses

Poetry

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge

American poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge makes her New Directions debut with this breathtaking new collection

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s Hello, the Roses opens up poetic form into long, shimmering lines shaped by the beauty and phenomenal fullness of the natural environment. She begins by exploring an array of unities perceived between myth and landscape, fashion and culture, experience and forgetting, boys and ravens. The poems of the middle section shift into an invisible world where plants, animals, and the self communicate and coexist through a process of mutual healing and imagination. Images of her New Mexico mesa suffering drought become walks through forests and gardens, and flow into the concluding poems where the individual’s relationship to night, weather, and cosmological time form a karmic temporal continuum, a mandala of perception bridging quartz and quantum bond. Throughout are the roses, transforming slowly, almost imperceptibly, deepening awareness, creating fields and nests, a rosette of civilization that reveals the embeddedness of all living things.