Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Review: The World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors

The World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors: Selected Prose Poems by Carsten René Nielsen was reviewed by Nicky Beer in the Spring 2009 issue of The Georgia Review.

A sample: "Nielsen's World, comprising selections from his three latest books, represents work from that theoretical space that often marks the transition from 'young' to 'midcareer' poet—work that seems to straddle the distance between the stylistic extremes of his peers and predecessors with élan, allowing glimpses into an often fragmented but hypnotic poetic interior."

Check out the Spring 2009 issue for the complete review, and the New Issues website for more info about The World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors by Carsten René Nielsen. Translated from the Danish by David Keplinger & the Author.

"Lapwing" by Carsten René Nielsen

In a chest of drawers with seven hundred drawers, each a different shape and size, lies a lapwing's egg somewhere. The thief is a freckled twelve-year-old girl who has to find the egg before the sun goes down. She knows that if she finds the egg and breaks it into her face, the freckles will disappear. But in the drawers she opens there is only water, only cheeping lapwing chicks. She climbs higher and higher, drawer over drawer, and finally just one drawer's left, at the very top, and the sun has now almost vanished. But it sticks, and she pulls and toils and tugs with her spindly arms, thrusts her feet against it, heaves and yanks and begins to cry. Then at last the drawer gives. It's been inserted upside down, and an egg falls out and onto the floor. With despair she stares at the egg as the lapwings start shrieking. They are all hand puppets made of old socks, and we, who hide behind the furniture in the living room, have to hold up a hand to our mouths not to laugh.

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