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Main : body, epilepsy, human rights, poetry

ISBN: 9781875559886
0.100 kgs
198 x 128 mm
108 pp
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Susan Hawthorne
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Birds don't fly with leads...Safety belts are to learn with, not to live with - I'm safer on the trapeze than crossing the road. And I do that every day, often by myself.

Thirteen-year-old Avis confronts the limitations imposed on her at school. She has epilepsy and some of the teachers want to stop her participating in the sport she loves most. Susan Hawthorne captures the voice and longings of a child at the edge of self-realisation. This collection draws on the experience of epilepsy mixed with imagination, mythic consciousness and an intense realisation of life.

The language in my tongue dissolves all history. It dissolves all expectation of the future. The language in my tongue is a big red balloon.

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The poems in Bird reflect and refract the experience of epilepsy through a variety of lenses, including classical metaphor, clinical exegesis, personal anecdote, and lesbian intimacy.

Carolyn Gage, Lambda Literary

... the inexpressible, yet full, full space reminiscent of Emily Dickinson's poetry. Hawthorne's poetry words the flesh, boldly fleshes the words, to speak the tongue of a hitherto unspoken epilepsy.

Anne Surma, SPAN, Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies
Many-eyed and many-lived is this poet, as seismologist or lover, bird or newborn child. To the classic figures of Sappho and Eurydice she brings all the Now! Here! sense of discovery that fires her modern girl taking lessons in flight. Judith Rodriguez

Table of Contents

Bird; The Language in My Tongue: Enigma; Grand mal; The language of the serpent; Transformation; First breath; Words on mirrors; Miniature death; In the bath; 24 hours; Devils; Falling woman; Falling stars; No names; Tongue without words; Black hole; Senseless; Hyphen; My body is a country; Tongue; Teeth; They thought you were dead; Dying stars; Underworld; Eurydice; Dream moon; New tongue; The well; Oracle; The language in my tongue; Eyes; The skin on my tongue; Traces; EEG; Strobe; Concrete words; Sixteen years; The flood; Ransom; Relearning the language caught inside my tongue; Belly language; ECT; Thesaurus; Seized: Variations on Sappho’s Fragment 31; Tongue Tied:; Hilda's journey; The improbable city; Year’s end; Unripe; Gone; Hell and back; Tongue tied; The pot; No witness; Microlandscapes; Synapse; Starfish; I saw eternity; Meditation on Falling; The Adventures of an Epileptic; ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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