Eleni Sikelianos is one of the rising stars of American poetry. Her previous work The California Poem also from Coffee House Press was greeted with great acclaim for its experimental forms close attention to California flora and fauna and the exuberance if its language and sounds.
With this new book Sikelianos continues her experimentation with the format of the poem and her language is still sensual and hypnotic. But she has some new themes. While The California Poem was suffused with loss—of nature of self—Body Clock is filled more with the presence of Time and the Body: her own body her new baby’s body and the body of Time itself (which she even draws as she also draws “minutes”).
Body Clock needs to be read carefully: one suggestion read through it first rapidly perhaps or skipping and then focusing on particular sections letting it wash over you much as you would a live music performance. Then return to the beginning and read with close attention marking the lush language the witty turns of phrase the sharpness of her eye for nature her ability to “narrate” in unexpected and compelling ways the movement of an assured mind through the massive inputs of our modern world.
This book should be read by all lovers of poetry especially by young poets beginning to think about the Poem what it is and means. Handsomely designed as are all Coffee House Press books this is a book to keep and savor.