Monday, June 21, 2010

My Zorba by Danielle Pafunda

I never answered the question: Who is Zorba? Sometimes Pafunda writes Zorba as a he, sometimes as a she. It is interesting but I feel like I should know the answer by the end.

The language in My Zorba is lush and creative.

She has a series of poems in the book that are letters to people and things: "Dear Grandmother," "Dear Debacler," "Dear classroom, no windows, two slider projectors, humming." I liked these, and they almost always included Zorba somehow. There are very few poems that don't include Zorba at all, and I miss him/her when he isn't in the poems.

I really like the mystery of the book, but I wish I could have decided who Zorba was by the end. I think I may be wrong trying to figure out who Zorba is. It might be one of those universals that poets use, that morphs as the poems require their subjects to. However, it seems like Zorba is so close, so specific in the poems, I want to know everything.

There were a few pop culture references in the poems, but there were not enough of them, so when a poem had a pop culture reference, it seemed to stick out a little too much.

The poems were broken into lines, but they looked like prose poems. Sometimes the stanzas were broken across pages. I thought this was a fun idea, but there were times I wasn't sure which stanzas belonged together. There is no table of contents, so I couldn't confirm.

Even though I felt like I was at a loss defining Zorba, the poems were beautiful, and I cared what was happening. I really liked them. I am going to keep reading it, and maybe I'll figure it out, or maybe I'll get over wanting Zorba to be someone specific.

My favorite poems in the book

My Sea Legs

Dear Pearce & Pearce Inc.

A Second Opinion is Sought (At the bottom)

A Parsimonious Holiday (Second from bottom)


At 2:26 PM, Blogger beth coyote said...

These are very funny, made me chuckle. (Does anyone actually chuckle any more?)


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