One might even say Equi’s attention to sonic detail brings us back to the “good old days” of poetry, before technology got in the way, but that would be cliched and dismissive of the leaps and bounds we have made since then — a lesson that perhaps Equi herself could learn.
Many see snow as a glacial blanket, suffocating and snuffing out the beauty of fall. But my fellow midwesterners cannot tell me that waking up to a yard full of snow where there was none the night before — with the trees lines with little white clumps and the car covered so heavily that only its imprint is recognizable — is not one of the most beautiful things.
In other words, this book has, in a roundabout way, both the digressiveness and the energy of her novels. The essay form also seems like something of a touchpoint for some of the stories here, in that Smith frequently eschews conflict, plot, and even character development in favor of scene, texture, and voice.
People watching, the search for cultural identity and the subtleties of growing up in the city gracefully intertwine as Su Hwang offers her upbringing to the reader in her poetry collection “Bodega.” Born in Korea shortly before immigrating to New York City, Hwang uses her experiences to develop an expansive collection of memories of partial assimilation that she relays through her collection of poems.