A strong debut collection from Montreal poet Oana Avasilichioaei, Abandon is filled with the richness of a country’s history. The poet melds the legends of Romania with its new reality in her vivid and insightful poetry. Dragons rub shoulders with Mountaineers with bad teeth. Women wash carpets in the river, and builders wall women into Monasteries. This is a rich collection and a very promising new voice in Canadian poetry.
Rubble wounds this valley in a slow funeral song
an owl drowns in a water barrel
and I see your face
white, almost transparent
pasted on a newspaper.
The paper, clipped
with clothes pegs on a string at a news stand,
flaps in the wind.
I think you must be looking at me.
I try to avoid your gaze, turn
my eyes to the hands of a child
playing on the shattered sidewalk –
paralysed toys, stale air.
But the face
my face blowing
in the wind, paper-thin . . .
I am feverish and too alive.
Abandon (Jennifer Boire, Prairie Fire Magazine, 7/6/2007).
"Avasilichioaei is no tourist and writes without sentimentality of present-day Romania. She has captured the physical and economic gloom in a voice that is part documentary voice-over, part visionary."
Book Reviews: Poetry (Anita Lahey, Malahat Review, 4/1/2007).
"... promises a trip well beyond the familiar Canadian lyric into a hard reality, a subversive, myth-like poetry swirling masterfully about its secrets and clues."
Abandon (Kris Brandhagen, PoetryReviews.ca, 4/5/2006).
"Avasilichioaei's free verse sees the old ways with new eyes and listens to language with unaccustomed ears."
Other Titles by Oana Avasilichioaei
We, Beasts (2012)
The Islands (2011)
feria: a poempark (2008)