Jan issue 2014-Review of Inhaling the Silence by Fran Figge

Inhaling the Silence                           Review by Fran Figge
Anna Yin
Mosaic Press, 2013, 71pp
I.S.B.N. 978-0-88962-994-3                                                         $17.95

From the first poem, The Night Song, Anna Yin draws us into a dreamlike tapestry, where seemingly incongruous images, “lips shiver. Arrows fling/upon the river, a melodrama /stirs the moon” tug at our unconscious for understanding. In Aftermath she writes, “The severed ear listens/to the moaning from the front line. / Iris petals fall into pieces”, forcing us to draw our own connections between these pictures. She captures in the warp and weft of her poetry, the threads of eastern and western sensibilities. Anna writes of Visiting “The Warrior Emperor & China’s Terra Cotta Army” saying, “But you are gone/no matter how bitter or grand/your history becomes. /Along the long river/only the currents wash by.” With the same poignancy, she speaks of Seeds of a Bailout, where “lies tangled in greed climb the twisted charts. /Soon it will all turn to ash/inhaled by everyone.” Some lines linger with haunting beauty: “Stars brim crystal wine”, “An angel rinses her moonlit dress”. Others haunt us, as in Why Do We Not Despair, which uses a haiku-like series of stanzas with prophetic implications: “ice melting/polar bears on floes/white lonely dots”. If you want to feel like the weed in Picking Up a Dandelion, “Your face opens to the sky, /then turns to me, shivering in joy,” reading Anna Yin’s book will do it.

To order your copy, send $20 ($17 + $3 p&h) to Anna Yin, 3820 Lacman Trail, Mississauga, Ont. L5M6A8.

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