The Transformation

The Transformation

by Juliana Spahr

Poetry. Juliana Spahr has lived in many places, including Chillicothe (Ohio), Buffalo (New York), Honolulu (Hawaii), and Brooklyn (New York). She has absorbed, participated in, and been transformed by the politics and ecologies of each. This book is about that process. THE TRANSFORMATION "tells a barely truthful story of the years 1997-2001," a story of flora and fauna, of continents, islands, academies, connective tissue, military and linguistic operations, and of that ever-present "we," to name only a few. At once exhilarating, challenging, and humbling, THE TRANSFORMATION is a hefty book in its honesty and scope, a must-read.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Poetry
  • Rating: 4.38
  • Pages: 223
  • Publish Date: May 1st 2007 by Atelos
  • Isbn10: 1891190261
  • Isbn13: 9781891190261

What People Think about "The Transformation"

The readers aren't going to like this cause it's too difficult. The readers of the difficult aren't going to like this cause it's too political. The lit critic academics aren't going to like it cause the metaphorical death of the author really doesn't count for much in a text that deals with the infinitely occurring incidents of it in the literal. The heteronormatives aren't going to like it cause of the sex. All this work really boils down to is a successor in the line of lit about white people going to colonized places and relating this oppression engrained in the way of things to their socially nonconforming sex life. They think too much, they drink too much, they mooch off their parents who grew up before the economy got tanked by fat cat fucks, they aspire to revolution but want to keep their heads, they acknowledge their privileged foot in the door but keep coming back when the job market's bad, they write weird ass poetry/prose pieces for their own personal catharsis and infect their fellow colleagues enough for said colleagues to assign it for their upper division English courses.

Most of all, it's a story about discovering vulnerabilities, at first imposed upon the "they" of the book, and finally sought after in the consciousness that only the opening of themselves to all these contradictions, difficulties and dangers can make possible a writing that may help develop a life worth being called human in the midst of social, cultural, economic and political crisis.

The gray matter at the back of the brain wanted to move to the place that self-identified as a place of complicated sexuality, a place for people who liked to be getting in and out of various beds in various different ways.

when i got to the second part of this book, i realized it was about love triangles and how radical they are.

Haole is the word that is used to describe some of them in this story, people who arrive from somewhere else. It was often called the haole bird because it came to the island, got fat, and then returned to the continent. (98) When they talked about poetry and the island with their friends, they could often be heard declaiming to anyone who would listen that nature poetry was the most immoral of poetries because it showed the bird, often a bird that like themselves had arrived from afar, and not the bulldozer. They needed poetry because it reshaped their mind, because it resorted things in different, sometimes beautiful, sometimes troubling patterns. They especially needed poetry to think with others, to think with the traditions of the island, to think beside them and near them but not as part of them. (116) Their brain ignored that the islands in the Atlantic also had a history where people came from afar and set up their own form of government, an inefficient and unfair one. They need a new sort of conceptualization that allowed for more going astray than any map they had ever seen.

She is the recipient of the 2009 Hardison Poetry Prize awarded by the Folger Shakespeare Library to honor a U.S. poet whose art and teaching demonstrate great imagination and daring.