*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Drowning in the Floating World by Meg Eden immerses us into the Japanese natural disaster known as 3/11: the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Relentless as the disaster itself, Eden seizes control of our deepest emotional centers, and, through insightful perspective, holds us in consideration of loss, helplessness, upheaval, and, perhaps most stirring, what do make of, and do with, survival. This poetry collection is also a cultural education, sure to encourage further reading and research. Drowning in the Floating World is, itself, a tsunami stone—a warning beacon to remind us to learn from disaster and, in doing so, honor all that’s lost.
The poems in this collection are drenched with the bleak devastation that these terrifying natural disasters wrought on the lost and on the left behind.
It is clear that the author has personal experience of Japan, and her poetry paints a picture of affection, sympathetic grief and stark respect, as she weaves the lore of kitsune and kappa, ghosts and spirits, through the very real consequences of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and resultant Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactor meltdown.
Imbued with raw emotion and a wealth of cultural knowledge about Japanese traditions and beliefs, Meg Eden brings the trauma of these events alive in a way that leaves the reader reeling at the destruction, haunted by the desolate aftermath, and awestruck at the mammoth task of rebuilding that falls to the grief-stricken.
Eden experiments with words, punctuation and form throughout her poems, creating very different effects as she moves from dead whales, to abandoned dolls, to ‘radium girls’. Most of the poems are fairly short, yet each one encapsulates a whole story of its own, carrying imagery that perfectly captures a mood, a setting, an intimacy of thought or feeling.
At the end of the collection, the author has included notes about the inspiration and factual basis for each poem, which led me inexorably down a path of further research – seeking out pictures, news reports and other accounts and educating myself a little more about an event that had only distantly touched on my consciousness before.
Anyone already interested in these disasters and the human costs will find these poems a valuable resource, and anyone coming to these tragedies without prior knowledge will find them am emotional, educational, introduction. And, of course, poetry lovers will appreciate the skilful writing.
Drowning in the Floating World releases on 11th March 2020, but you can pre-order it on Amazon right now!
For a chance to win a FREE copy of Drowning in the Floating World, follow the link to the Rafflecopter below, kindly hosted by SimplyAllyTea.