Academic journal article American Studies

Silabas De Viento/syllables of Wind

Academic journal article American Studies

Silabas De Viento/syllables of Wind

Article excerpt

SILABAS DE VIENTO/SYLLABLES OF WIND. By Xánath Caraza. Lawrence, KS: Mammoth Publications. 2014.

Syllables of Wind, Xánath Caraza's second collection, is an in-depth examination of identity and collective memory, demonstrating how each rests in the tongue and is formed in language. In this volume, Caraza continues to impress the reader with her abilities to paint portraits of people and places, honoring modernist poets. Like Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) and William Carlos Williams, Caraza privileges expression through precise visual images. Additionally, she chooses language that frames her attention to visual details within the collective memory of "spaces" and "borderlands." The collection is as deep and expansive as the sea and equally necessary for an intricate understanding of the complexity of American artistic/cultural production.

Caraza's poems illustrate a complex understanding and sense of knowing that casts the self as having a global identity that predates the recent attention to patriotism and national borders. One of the ways Caraza complicates popular notions of national borders and identity is that these poems bear witness to the sea being a connecting force. Rather than one that separates nations, the sea in her poems is the conduit between Mexico, United States, Spain and Morocco.

In her poem Incalculable she captures the seascape to illustrate Costa Tropical, Andalusia, Spain. The lines in this poem help the reader to understand the Alboran Sea as a "Sea that found other cultures," "sea that forged the cosmic race," and "sea of linguistic currents." In this way, Caraza reframes the sea and its shores as a welcoming space of hybridity, rather than privileging the sea and shore's history of Roman and Muslim religious/political conquest. …

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