In her debut collection, Congratulations, Rhododendrons, award-winning poet Mary Germaine offers love poems to an insistently unlovely world.
Through poems that speak to plastic bags and drones as much as they admire roses and the moon, Germaine surfs the confluence of artificial and natural environments, technology, and our small but consequential feelings about them. At turns devotional and suspicious, these poems toe the boundaries of intimacy, responsibility, and reason.
In anxious times, anything can be taken as a sign; a crow, a talking coin, and a news report are all sources of information whose truth (or "fake-ness") demand investigation. Germaine's poems scroll from a shrine in Lourdes to an augmented-reality sandbox, from a mall filled with loitering ex-love interests to a fairy-tale ending where all the men turn out to be chairs. Funny, provocative, sly, and melancholic, Congratulations, Rhododendrons makes a case for the hope that every apparent disaster of social investment might in the end be redeemed as meaningful, genuine, or at least in some way helpful.
House of Anansi Press, 9781487008680, 96pp.
Publication Date: April 6, 2021