The Same-Different: Poems (Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets) (Paperback)
I keep returning to this collection for its captivating, topsy-turvy wordplay and its delirious love of language. Park’s poems unravel down the page, each new line morphing from the last. They read like kaleidoscopes, spiraling out of themselves into new (yet familiar) evolutions. In my favorite section, Park writes sonnets about mythological creatures, deftly reshaping traditional forms and stories. This book presents poetry as playful transmutation - a reminder that language is its own brand of magic.— From Stephanie's Picks
Deceptively straightforward and subtly pyrotechnic, the poems in Hannah Sanghee Park's debut collection captivate with their wordplay at first glance, then give rise to opportunities for extended reflection. "If / truth be told, I can't be true," she writes, but her startling juxtapositions of sound and meaning belie that claim, necessitating a search for the truth behind her semantic games.Here are dozens of brief sentences that can serve as epigrams to undermine our ordinary ways of seeing, as Park's playfully deployed puns recall the sly paradoxes of Oscar Wilde. The Same-Different ranges from the wonders of the natural world to close human relationships, occasioning the kind of explorations offered in "And A Lie" "The asking was askance. / And the tell all told. / So then, in tandem // Anathema, and anthem."