Mum is Down
ISBN: 978-0942996-82-1 • $12.00 • 56 pp.
Dear Oscarine, I have for the third time reopened your book and found myself in tears and I want to tell you how much this poem is magnificent and that my tears are not simply due to an emotionalism one should dismiss. This gift of tears is the perfect sign for letting us know that the poem goes way beyond its subject. The poem/object is for each person a key, an opener as much as it is a personal enigma. Your book is not only a sublime eulogy—with its strawberries and artichokes, but the treatment of terrible subjects that are embedded into every maternal lineage. The overwhelming cruelty of the siren cut with scissors as well as the condemnation to the dwarves are those sections whose tones are the most poignant to me. Your poem is haunting. I read and reread, as one treats an aching tooth. Its material, its linguistic core, sorrow and plight with no ornaments are one of my highest reading moments.
* from a letter to the author upon the publication of Mum is Down Mum is Down
Mum is Down is at once a harrowing work and, by the sheer integrity of its agonistic confrontation with the unthinkable, a profoundly redemptive one. The unswerving poetic force of her language proves yet again that Bosquet stands among the most formally audacious and humanly perceptive poets of her generation in France.
Oscarine Bosquet was born in 1964 in Paris. She is the author of four volumes of poetry in French and has published extensively in magazines and anthologies. She teaches at the Ecole Supérior des Arts in Brest. Her book, Present Participle, also in English, was recently published by La Presse. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Cole Swensen is a poet and translator of French poetry, prose, and art critcism. She co-edited the Norton anthology American Hybrid and is the founding editor of the small press La Presse. The Post-Apollo Press also published a collection of her poetry, Stele, and her translation Jean Fremon’s The Real Life of Shadows. She divides her life between Providence, RI and Paris. Simone Fattal is a painter, sculpter and translator. She is the publisher of The Post-Apollo Press.