Ame Ai, Lyrics and Verses, Outskirts Press, 2009. $12.95
Reviewed by Yearn Hong Choi
This small poetry book is the third one from Ame Ai. This book has the author’s different purpose: making poetry into singing and reading. A great majority of her poems in this book belongs to lyrics to be sung. However, verses to be read or spoken can be songs to me. I am not very musical, but all verses can be lyrics, too.
The author is a young woman who has been indulged in the secular and sacred things surrounding her. She has been singing of the beautiful things and of the ugly things surrounding her. She has also been indulged in sexual encounters. She seems to me a honest or candid poetess to sex. In this book, she listed five poems under sexual songs.
I present one poem, “Debauchery & Sodomy,” in this space.
Can you feel the destructionation
In the soft of your breathism?
Can you tell why all the nation
Sits on a bed of glass?
You’ll never know!
The heatness of the term
Until you have come to the end
And whirl whirl whirl!
Upon a likeness
Of temporal and corporal
Ass ass ass!
Shed me of my length.
She created her new vocabularies for this poem, such as destrutionation, brethism, and heatness. Certainly, she is sensitive to language as a poetess. Certainly, she is brave to express the things not all poets and poetess dare to express.
What is most noteworthy from this poetry book is one young woman trying to connect poetry to songs. In the beginning, words were for songs. At least, that was the case of ancient Korean poetry. Poetry was songs for the feast in a village. After harvest, village people gathered to sing and to thank to the nature or to God.
Modern poetry has been sophisticated and complex, and that it has been far from the village people’s singing. Restoring the poetry to the lyrics and songs is a valuable attempt on the part of a young poetess.
I congratulate her third poetry books. She is enthusiastic to poetry. She is still passionate to sex or sexual poetry. I am sure that sex can be one source of poetry, because it contains some mysteries between male and female. Sex can bring the outsiders to the poetry to the poetry. I don’t mind to bring the poetry to the village people in modern society.
I admire Ame Ai’s courage and indulgence in sexual songs.