Feb 18, 2009

Secret Love Poems by Arlene Ang

Arlene Ang's Secret Love Poems is a short chapbook of 22 pages, but the poems pack a powerful punch. The incongruous images used in some of these poems come together in unusual and satisfying ways. Readers will be hooked from the first page and the first poem, "The mime under my left breast."

"The glass slipper on his night stand/is the couplet I swore//never to write after the first act./In a copy of Scientific Monthly,//the average boy steals at least five/street signs before he loses his virginity.//" (Page 1)

The last line says it all, revealing the "secret love." I think it also sets the stage for the rest of the chapbook. "girls who live dangerously."

A number of poems in this volume have girls, really women, who live dangerously. A woman involved with a married man, a woman who's lived a long life and is running out of time, and a girl home alone with a boy she hardly knows and her parents are not home, just to name a few.

Whether these poems are real situations or hidden desires, it is obvious many of these poems are about hidden desires, passions simmering beneath the skin.

From "The 13th Secret Love Poem":

"I wonder how his leather briefcase/would move against my skin./Twenty meters apart, we are never alone.//" (Page 10)

From "The 22nd Secret Love Poem":

"We never exchange more than/a few words: my professional advice,/the weather, her next appointment.// She leaves like snow crystals on/my lash. Briefly, the world glitters.//" (Page 19)

In "The 13th Secret Love Poem," mundane objects like a briefcase have an electric charge, emanating from the poem. A woman in "The 22nd Secret Love Poem" becomes magical to the narrator, helping the world to shine. Ang's poetry has a luminescence that will stay with readers for many years to come, whether she speaks of passionate love or convivial love.

I cannot praise this volume of poetry enough.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of my interview with her here on Savvy Verse & Wit. Check out the first two parts of the interview with Arlene Ang here and here.

***Don't forget my Arlene Ang, Secret Love Poems, giveaway***

About the Poet:

Arlene Ang lives in Italy and edits for several literary zines and is a prolific poet.


Anonymous said...

I'll be back for the interview. Fascinating poet.

Serena said...

Marvin: There will be a giveaway too!

naida said...

the poetry does soound beautiful.
looking forward to part3 of the interview :)

Anna said...

You said giveaway! Yippee!! I don't read a lot of poetry, you know how picky I am about it. I like Ang's though. Thanks for the review!

Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Naida: Her poetry is very powerful...I'm not sure my review did it justice.

Anna: Yes, I said giveaway, but I bet you'll never guess....you'll have to wait until tonight when the interview and giveaway posts tonight at 6PM to find out.

Iliana said...

Oh I like this. The theme of women who live dangerously reminds me a bit of the Sandra Cisnero poems in her book Loose Woman. Have you read that one? Highly recommend it.

Anyway, I'll definitely be back for Pt.3!

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Interesting... thank you.

Serena said...

Iliana: I have not read that poet before, so thanks for the recommendation. I will check the book out. There's a giveaway for Secret Love Poems.