Eye Weekly Review of Lemon Hound
Sina Queyras' fourth book of poetry, Lemon Hound (Coach House Books, 112 pages, $16.95), is a compelling collection of modernist work to be savoured. The primary themes in the book are technology versus the natural world, and the changing trends -- and backlash -- of feminism. In one poem, the "flat-tummied girls," who "do not embrace feminism," are so "done with earnest ... and whiny girls," you can almost hear them sucking their teeth. In another poem, women are coloured blue, pink, red and green -- their colours denote their political stance (or lack thereof) on womanhood. Incantatory and hypnotic in style, Queyras' work also encompasses environmental themes as puddles and rivers threaten to overtake towns and individuals: "The river wants to swallow the town the way it swallows her. The river wants the last gulp."
Lemon Hound, marked by gorgeous, stuttering impressions and imagery, is less successful in the poems that reimagine Virginia Woolf's childhood and deconstruct Woolf's The Waves, where the Gertrude Stein and Woolf quotes feel excessive and tired. Despite these few shortcomings, the volume contains many instances of revelation and pulls the reader into its intimate urban and pastoral world, composed of the invisible rhythms of light, earth and memory.