The Scarlet Ibis

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ISBN 978-0-8101-5183-3

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ISBN 978-0-8101-5184-0
Publication Date
March 2007
Categories
Page Count
80 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9
ISBN
0-8101-5183-9

The Scarlet Ibis

Susan Hahn
In The Scarlet Ibis, Susan Hahn has created an intricately structured sequence of interlinked poems centered around the single compelling image of the ibis. The resonance of this image grows through each section of the book as Hahn skillfully employs theme and variation, counterpoint and mirroring techniques. The ibis first appears as part of an illusion, the disappearing object in a magician's trick, which then evokes the greatest disappearing act of all-death-where there are no tricks to bring about a reappearance. The rich complexity multiplies as the second section focuses on a disappearing lady and a dramatic final section brings together the bird and the lady in their common plight-both caged by their mortality, their assigned time and role.  All of the illusions fall away during this brilliant denouement as the two voices share a dialogue on the power of metaphor as the very essence of poetry.
 
bird trick iv
 

It's all about disappearance.
 


About a bird in a cage


with a mirror, a simple twist


on the handle at the side


that makes it come and go
 

at the magician's insistence.
 

It's all about innocence.


It's all about acceptance.


It's all about compliance.


It's all about deference.


It's all about silence.
 

It's all about disappearance.

About the Author
Susan Hahn is a poet, playwright, and the editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She is the author of six books of poetry and the recipient of many awards for her poems, including a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Chicago Tribune named her fourth book, Holiday (Chicago, 2001), and her fifth book, Mother in Summer (Northwestern, 2002), among the Best Books of 2002. Her first play, Golf, was produced in 2005 by Circle Theater in Forest Park, Illinois. 
Reviews
"The sense of line is effortless, never forced, and the images come from deep in the imagination. Nothing in these poems is predictable and yet within the context of the poetic world that Hahn has created all is lucidly clear." --Stuart Dybek
Praise for Susan Hahn's Self/Pity:
"Poet and playwright Hahn has a uniquely spiky sensibility and a wit at once decorous and subversive. In her sixth collection, she extends her startling, erotic, and wily inquiry into the endless skirmishes between the rampant mind and its house of flesh, blood, and bone by combining a droll metaphysics with lyrical science." --Booklist, starred review
"This new work by TriQuarterly editor Hahn begins and ends in the womb, its subject being the human body and its 'interior music.' By employing her musically gifted ear in various rhythmical ways, resulting in lines like 'The cradle understands its own/determination. The Heart/. . .forms its thump,/thump, thump announcement.' The music of such lines is so unpredictable and intense that it becomes almost the poem's meaning." --Library Journal