poem index


(nevertheless enjoyment


Quale Press




Poetry Book
(nevertheless enjoyment by Elizabeth Bryant
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The poems in (nevertheless enjoyment make up a book-long sequence that examines ideas of joy, pleasure, suffering, and intimacy. A translation project in nature, the poems spring from the complicated term jouissance, sometimes loosely translated in English as "enjoyment." Bryant’s project shows the inherent difficulty in definition, and masterfully illustrates that translating experience is as elusive as trying to translate any idea or feeling into a single word. These poems exhibit such inaccuracies:

   of the weather)

   Slips across always left to right as in a sentence. We read the
           same way,
   or were taught to. If words come through as errors, then. Or if            words
   come through.

Through rearview mirrors, footage, residue, shadows, and other forms of evidence, the poems portray events both in the throes of the moment of fixation and the way the events appear when reexamined or remembered—in essence, relaying and archiving in simultaneity. (nevertheless enjoyment is a smart, compelling read.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2010, issue 39.

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