A Portrait of the Self as Nation
New and Selected Poems
Other Editions of This Title:
A rich, illuminating compilation of selected and new poems from Marilyn Chin, "a poet of contradictions, poignant sentiment, beat-your-ass toughness, and unexpected humor" (Los Angeles Review of Books).
Spanning thirty years of dazzling work—from luminous early love lyrics to often-anthologized Asian American identity anthems, from political and subversive hybrid forms to feminist manifestos—A Portrait of the Self as Nation is a selection from one of America’s most original and vital voices. Marilyn Chin’s passionate, polyphonic poetry travels freely from the personal to the mythic, from the political to the spiritual. Deeply engaged with the complexities of cultural assimilation, feminism, and the Asian American experience, she spins precise, beautiful metaphors as she illuminates hard-hitting truths.
A Portrait of the Self as Nation celebrates Chin’s innovative activist poetry: her fearless and often confrontational early collections, Dwarf Bamboo and The Phoenix Gone, the Terrace Empty; the rebellious, vivid language of Rhapsody in Plain Yellow; and the erotic elegies of Hard Love Province. Also included are excerpts from Chin’s daring novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, and a vibrant chapter of new poems and translations.
In poems that are direct and passionately charged, Marilyn Chin raises her voice against systems of oppression even as her language shines with devastating power and beauty. Image after image, line by line, Chin’s masterfully reinvented quatrains, sonnets, allegories, and elegies are unforgettable.
Praise For A Portrait of the Self as Nation: New and Selected Poems…
— Eavan Boland
Marilyn Chin’s poems excite and incite the imagination through their brilliant cultural interfacings, their theatre of anger, ‘fierce and tender,’ their compassion, and their high mockery of wit. Reading her, our sense of the possibilities of poetry is opened further, and we feel again what an active, powerful art it can be.
— Adrienne Rich
Marilyn Mei Ling Chin draws on ancient cultural sources and at the same time reflects something wholly Western, urban, and contemporary—so that we have here two kinds of sophistication combined, in proportions uniquely determined by her strong personal sensibility. The results are strong with an authentic and captivating strangeness, beauty and offbeat wit.
— Denise Levertov
I praise Marilyn Chin’s poetry!
— Gwendolyn Brooks
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393652178, 224pp.
Publication Date: October 16, 2018