Torch Song Tango Choir
By Julie Sophia Paegle
University of Arizona Press, Paperback, 9780816528646, 78pp.
Publication Date: October 2010
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The poems in the first section, torch songs, hover near a heartbreaking lyricism as they reckon with political histories, landscapes, and loss. As she writes in this section, there is truly nothing in this life like being blind in Granada. The sonnet crown that comprises the next section, tango liso, plots a history of cultural inheritance and renewal, weaving back and forth in time and spanning Argentina, Spain, and the United States. Here the reader encounters Eva Peron alongside Katharine of Aragon and Billie Holiday. The final section, choir, commemorates sites of pilgrimage in Latvia, West Germany, and Spain, among other places. In this extended contemplation of cathedral spaces, Paegle interrogates the boundary between the sacred and the secular, silence and song. What emerges from this diverse collection is a sensual and allusive space where music and memory coincide.