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Carnevale, Poems by Susan Oringel
These poems traverse the seam between love and struggle, memory and what is palpable, to create a world where everything is at stake.
“As the title promises, Susan Oringel’s Carnevale is a ‘festival before the last.’ In a swirling dance of life and death, a heartrending narrative unfurls. Nostalgic poems selected from Oringel’s chapbook, My Coney Island, combine with new work to describe celebration and mourning over the span of decades. The world moves from the assassination of President Kennedy to the carnage of 9/11. A season of bereavements culminates in the unexpected death of a lover. Lyrical free verse captures the emotion of losing things that, like a child’s run-away balloon, cannot be recovered. Yet, amidst the farewell to flesh, doors open. ‘Joys and sorrows move like the wind / from house to house, lights burning in the windows.’ In poignant dreams of Coney Island, the author imagines the surf’s roar and a return to the mythic place where she began and will begin again.”—Jackie Craven, author of Secret Formulas & Techniques Of The Masters
“Come read, taste, feel Susan Oringel’s Carnevale From schav to Nathan’s hotdogs, to freshly baked whole grain bread and ice cream with a cherry on top, come experience Coney Island and 9/11 and the life and deaths of family and lovers, in language vivid, colorful, and bittersweet. You will know that we suddenly all speak ‘the same language’ which moves ‘like music from heart to heart.’ And we know that we are all ‘tethered? First to our own bodies, then to others, to life, and finally to death.’ Come live and love in Carnevale!”—Larissa Shmailo, author of Dora / Lora.
“The poems of Carnevale grow in intensity as they go––as recollection grows closer in time and intimacy, they invite the joys of Eros in, and then, with ‘the awful fact of after…’ deal so movingly with loss and the transit of grief: ‘What’s left, a love that flares inside…’ And, in their strong cadences and the eloquent parallels of their images, the poems open that interior to us, ‘And then begin again.’”—Eleanor Wilner, Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems