In the last couple of months a new poetry website/social network has sprung up called Read Write Poem, and as a member I had the pleasure of being called to participate in the second “Read Write Poem Virtual Book Tour.” This means I have the opportunity to do more than just tell people they should read great poems by unknown poets, I get to tell them why they should read these poems.
Maya Ganesan’s debut Apologies to an Apple is a very competent body of work, with poems ranging from the surrealism of the natural world to foreboding loneliness. The book starts on a really great note with the short “Perhaps.”
Perhaps tomorrow I
will spend the morning in
the woods and catch up
on woodland gossip with
In fact, the entire first third of the book is dedicated to the poet and her place in the natural world, oftentimes anthropomorphizing in order to create characters that fuel voyages of wonder and discovery. Youthful surrealism; I love it.
In the second section, she explores her connection with others, including her family. I particularly love the piece “Don’t Know Linen,” a somber poem, I’m assuming, about Alzheimer’s.
The sunset du jour throws
Mauve rays like darts.
She said some time ago,
I don’t know linen.
But she sits here, 6 p.m. dusk,
Linen and hospital find her.
Against a closed sky,
Her white wings beat.
She is uninvited.
The calendars will
Remember today’s kind of autumn,
The color of the open air,
The view from half-closed blinds.
She shapes tracks of water
On the table beside her bed:
A leaf, a tree, a cloud.
And finally, in the third section of the book, she explores her connection to herself. As a fellow poet, I definitely could relate to this gem of a poem called “The Art of Knowing.”
no one knows you are coming and going underneath
this big sky and drinking a hundred vowels each
minute, drinking and spitting
you are walking underneath the awning of a petite
French-style café and someone five miles away
Now, I tried my hardest to not judge the book by what I knew about it going in. You see, Maya Ganesan is only eleven years old. As I said, this book is a very competent collection of poems for anyone, but for an eleven year old, it truly speaks to the talent and bright future ahead of her. I very much look forward to the next several books by this bright and inspiring poet.