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Poetry. In Skurtu, Romania, the poet lands physically and emotionally in the country of her family's forgotten history, and she familiarizes herself in this foreign place through the dynamic of an alienating love story. Tara Skurtu's poems have the logic of memory, the vivid spontaneity of dreams, and the precision of calculus--each line is, in a sense, an asymptote contin Poetry. In Skurtu, Romania, the poet lands physically and emotionally in the country of her family's forgotten history, and she familiarizes herself in this foreign place through the dynamic of an alienating love story. Tara Skurtu's poems have the logic of memory, the vivid spontaneity of dreams, and the precision of calculus--each line is, in a sense, an asymptote continually approaching the limits of language and love. This poetry holds a lens over every moment, alters the perception of home, invites the reader in as both foreigner and guest. on SKURTU, ROMANIA: Tara Skurtu’s poems don’t rely on the usual “poetic” subject matter. Instead, as in these remarkable poems set in Romania, the country of her ancestors, she can take an unlikely or even grim situation and, in a sensitively detailed, amused, and finally deeply sympathetic narrative, convey an emotionally complex experience and invite us to live it along with her. She once wrote that “if a poem does nothing more than make you feel something which can’t be explained, it’s done its job.” These mysterious, mesmerizing, and compelling poems have done much more than their job. --Lloyd Schwartz Tara Skurtu’s poetry is a little thunder in a small room, in a strange and foreign world, where all things are something different than they appear to be. In the middle of this universe love resides, alone, on its own. Words circle it, seeking to enter and conquer. Reality is inhabited by objects, people, and places as familiar as they are strange. The poet writes, with almost cynical carefulness, the implacable diagnostic of a love story. The distance between the characters, the present-absent lover, and the poet-persona who sees, understands, and cannot accept the convention, gives birth to poems of remarkable finesse and eloquence. In each poem, the touch of authentic and visceral emotions, censored by reason, dazzle the reader. Or it thrills the reader. Which is one and the same. --Florin Iaru


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Poetry. In Skurtu, Romania, the poet lands physically and emotionally in the country of her family's forgotten history, and she familiarizes herself in this foreign place through the dynamic of an alienating love story. Tara Skurtu's poems have the logic of memory, the vivid spontaneity of dreams, and the precision of calculus--each line is, in a sense, an asymptote contin Poetry. In Skurtu, Romania, the poet lands physically and emotionally in the country of her family's forgotten history, and she familiarizes herself in this foreign place through the dynamic of an alienating love story. Tara Skurtu's poems have the logic of memory, the vivid spontaneity of dreams, and the precision of calculus--each line is, in a sense, an asymptote continually approaching the limits of language and love. This poetry holds a lens over every moment, alters the perception of home, invites the reader in as both foreigner and guest. on SKURTU, ROMANIA: Tara Skurtu’s poems don’t rely on the usual “poetic” subject matter. Instead, as in these remarkable poems set in Romania, the country of her ancestors, she can take an unlikely or even grim situation and, in a sensitively detailed, amused, and finally deeply sympathetic narrative, convey an emotionally complex experience and invite us to live it along with her. She once wrote that “if a poem does nothing more than make you feel something which can’t be explained, it’s done its job.” These mysterious, mesmerizing, and compelling poems have done much more than their job. --Lloyd Schwartz Tara Skurtu’s poetry is a little thunder in a small room, in a strange and foreign world, where all things are something different than they appear to be. In the middle of this universe love resides, alone, on its own. Words circle it, seeking to enter and conquer. Reality is inhabited by objects, people, and places as familiar as they are strange. The poet writes, with almost cynical carefulness, the implacable diagnostic of a love story. The distance between the characters, the present-absent lover, and the poet-persona who sees, understands, and cannot accept the convention, gives birth to poems of remarkable finesse and eloquence. In each poem, the touch of authentic and visceral emotions, censored by reason, dazzle the reader. Or it thrills the reader. Which is one and the same. --Florin Iaru

16 review for Skurtu, Romania

  1. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan Fallon

    Tara Skurtu examines what it's like to be an outsider, in a country, in a language, even in a love affair, in this slim and gorgeous collection of poetry. Her line, "Here, I was a foreigner" encapsulates so many of the minute miscommunications that radiate out from these snap shots of life in Romania. My favorite of the collection, "Spoiled," turns the story of Adam and Eve on it's head. The narrator, a woman, receives a "perfect apple," "so small, so red," from her lover. But the apple is mealy Tara Skurtu examines what it's like to be an outsider, in a country, in a language, even in a love affair, in this slim and gorgeous collection of poetry. Her line, "Here, I was a foreigner" encapsulates so many of the minute miscommunications that radiate out from these snap shots of life in Romania. My favorite of the collection, "Spoiled," turns the story of Adam and Eve on it's head. The narrator, a woman, receives a "perfect apple," "so small, so red," from her lover. But the apple is mealy, spoiled; the man has handed her a false dream, and the reader can sense the narrator's heart break and expulsion in the future. The narrator, for all of her attempts at translation and learning this new tongue, doesn't "know how to make a complete sentence" but she does not give up trying to connect. It's the lover, for all of his ability at languages, his ease in his homeland, who remains inarticulate, distant, unable to communicate. The narrator's humble plea "I want to understand you" will linger in the reader's mind long after the book is finished.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eli Bădică

  3. 5 out of 5

    Djuna Riley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Botta

  5. 5 out of 5

    Margot Miller

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stan Dickenson

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leah Horlick

  8. 4 out of 5

    Renée

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea MacPherson

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Hines

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pedro

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  13. 4 out of 5

    A

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  15. 4 out of 5

    Krzysiek (Chris)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dela Iovan

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