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"A deeply-sensorial reflection on presence, absence, and the act of losing "What Happens is Neither/ the end nor the beginning. /Yet we're wired to look for signs," offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres' latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces "A deeply-sensorial reflection on presence, absence, and the act of losing "What Happens is Neither/ the end nor the beginning. /Yet we're wired to look for signs," offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres' latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces in and around grief-in varying proximity to it and from different vantage points. She writes both structurally formal poems that enfold the emotionality of loss and free verse that loosens the latch on memory and lets us into the sensory worlds of the speaker's childhood and present. In poems set in two countries and homes, Torres considers what it means to leave a mark, vanish, and stay in one place. In a profound act of recollection and preservation, Torres shows us how to release part of ourselves but remain whole"--


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"A deeply-sensorial reflection on presence, absence, and the act of losing "What Happens is Neither/ the end nor the beginning. /Yet we're wired to look for signs," offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres' latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces "A deeply-sensorial reflection on presence, absence, and the act of losing "What Happens is Neither/ the end nor the beginning. /Yet we're wired to look for signs," offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres' latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces in and around grief-in varying proximity to it and from different vantage points. She writes both structurally formal poems that enfold the emotionality of loss and free verse that loosens the latch on memory and lets us into the sensory worlds of the speaker's childhood and present. In poems set in two countries and homes, Torres considers what it means to leave a mark, vanish, and stay in one place. In a profound act of recollection and preservation, Torres shows us how to release part of ourselves but remain whole"--

27 review for What Happens Is Neither

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Davis

    In “Feather,” a poem that appears early in Angela Narciso Torres’s book What Happens Is Neither, she describes trying unsuccessfully as a child to make a mark on the “the pebble-/washed floor” using a goose feather. “The point/is not that when night fell/there was barely a scratch. The point/ is how, armed with a feather,/I believed I could make a mark.” This collection takes us on her journey through challenges we are all helpless to prevent—the grief of losing our parents, the heart-tugs of ra In “Feather,” a poem that appears early in Angela Narciso Torres’s book What Happens Is Neither, she describes trying unsuccessfully as a child to make a mark on the “the pebble-/washed floor” using a goose feather. “The point/is not that when night fell/there was barely a scratch. The point/ is how, armed with a feather,/I believed I could make a mark.” This collection takes us on her journey through challenges we are all helpless to prevent—the grief of losing our parents, the heart-tugs of raising a child and then sending them off into the world. Yet the beauty of the language and images she uses to convey her experiences offer a tenderness and care that keep us buoyed up along the way. Describing the progression of her mother’s Alzheimer’s: “Her memories, black pigeons flying off at dusk. Who knows where/ they spend the night? Dawn finds them back at the cote, softly/cooing.” Her father playing his violin after his cancer diagnosis: “I remember the A string/wouldn’t tune. He played/anyway. His body leaned/and swayed in its wheelchair/cage.” And in the poem “Nocturne” about a son: “What is parenting but a prayer for one’s young.” In the end, Torres has made a mark, illuminating with her pen the intertwined paths of love, grief and memory.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    One of April’s pleasures has been spending slow time with What Happens Is Neither — a book I plan to pick up again & again for its wise music, which is as warm as the poet's late father’s violin or her son’s cello, both instruments evoked in these poems. Elegies to the poet’s parents are the beating heart of this gorgeous collection, & the resonant intimacies brought forth by material details & tender glimpses into memory are stunning tributes to who & what has been lost along with what remains ( One of April’s pleasures has been spending slow time with What Happens Is Neither — a book I plan to pick up again & again for its wise music, which is as warm as the poet's late father’s violin or her son’s cello, both instruments evoked in these poems. Elegies to the poet’s parents are the beating heart of this gorgeous collection, & the resonant intimacies brought forth by material details & tender glimpses into memory are stunning tributes to who & what has been lost along with what remains (& what is still being made). Angela Narciso Torres skillfully weaves the emotional plane with the intellectual, or the intertextual. These poems integrate lines from Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, WB Yeats, Encyclopedia Brittanica, & beyond. With a similar capaciousness, these poems look frequently to nature (I keep thinking of peonies & water) & find surprising points of reflection & irony therein. I love this book. I was particularly struck—breathtaken—by the poem “To the One We Lost,” a poem that grieves a miscarriage with a poem that holds profound loss and simultaneously gathers within it so much life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Caycedo-Kimura

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ace Boggess

  5. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  6. 4 out of 5

    Violeta

  7. 4 out of 5

    rosalind

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aadya Ahuja

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy Klein

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter Green

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Garnet

  17. 4 out of 5

    Simona

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mik J.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily Pérez

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Urbahns

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Stone

  23. 4 out of 5

    Breadfly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Manuela Jaklić

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Jackson Berry

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sierra

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