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Cover for A Machine Wrote This Song

A Machine Wrote This Song

Jennifer Hayashida


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Poetry. Equal parts definition and destruction of language as material, Jennifer Hayashida's A MACHINE WROTE THIS SONG challenges us to examine what constitutes meaningful communication. In Hayashida's first collection of poems, we are invited to experience the loss of translation (between languages, generations, and geographies) with a tender scrupulousness. The speakers in A MACHINE WROTE THIS SONG are hooked on phenomenology in an attempt to understand competing scales of intimacy and violence, continuity and interruption.

A MACHINE WROTE THIS SONG gives us the linguistic tools to examine our reality as an infinite series of connected concepts. Hayashida creates gentle tension by highlighting the synchronicities of experience, for example: motherhood / war, machination / art, memory / strategy, syntax / feeling. Throughout the collection, we are reminded to both revere and question our personal and collective relationship to the histories we embody through our languages: This poem is / history without geography / You are / Interrupted Fern / This poem is / a dry-docked vessel / We are / a homemade dictionary.

Gramma Poetry, 9780998736273, 120pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2018