The Girl Without Arms by Brandon Shimoda

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Synopsis

The Girl Without Arms is a figure in Japanese folklore--a young girl whose arms are lopped off by her father, and is left to die in the mountains. The father, at the behest of his evil wife--the girl's stepmother--lures the girl into the mountains at the promise of attending a neighboring festival. This is only the beginning of the tale.

The poems of Brandon Shimoda's The Girl Without Arms are birthed of the rainy shut-in pause between steps forward and back in a season of great floods. In successive and interlocked sequences, these poems grapple with a seemingly unbridgeable confusion--related to love, the impossibility of life outside of love, and the unbearableness of life within it--as a way to give shape to the dark weather that permeates our lives, so as not to drown at its coming.

Praise for The Girl Without Arms:

"Brandon Shimoda seems to be an Ur-being, a totally new creature: And I never wanted children, but now / I want children / To drop / Through skeletal netting / Nameless / Into black beds / As like into potters aglow in generous helpings of children. His language changes natural laws. We, standing by, reading, shivering in awe, are stopped. Mute, then refreshed and launched. His children."
--Tomaz Salamun

"Brandon Shimoda's The Girl Without Arms is a whirlwind of language. I got lost in the turning and I was so happy to be lost, for once. Because the genius of poetry is to make you feel like you always want to be lost in a cone of words and light, twisting around what may have started out as your one self but is now so many selves. And twisting, tearing, and splitting you so pleasantly into many selves is exactly what this book does."
--Dorothea Lasky

"Sometimes I can taste the world in a poem. Sometimes there is a poet in service to deliver everything you want to taste in the world. Brandon Shimoda is such a poet. If every book he writes is as good as The Girl Without Arms there will be many years of never going hungry. Some people have faith in god, but I have faith in Poetry. I have faith in Brandon Shimoda."
--CAConrad

 

About Brandon Shimoda

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Brandon Shimoda's collaborations, drawings and writings haveBrandon Shimoda's collaborations, drawings and writings have appeared in print, online, on vinyl and on walls. He is the appeared in print, online, on vinyl and on walls. He is the author of THE ALPS (Flim Forum Press, 2008), THE GIRL WITHO author of THE ALPS (Flim Forum Press, 2008), THE GIRL WITHOUT ARMS (Black Ocean, 2011) and O BON (Litmus Press, 2011), UT ARMS (Black Ocean, 2011) and O BON (Litmus Press, 2011), among other books of variable length. He is also the co-authamong other books of variable length. He is also the co-author of numerous works with poet Phil Cordelli, under the workor of numerous works with poet Phil Cordelli, under the working title, The Pines. ing title, The Pines.
 
Published February 7, 2011 by Black Ocean. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Girl Without Arms

Publishers Weekly

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Grandeur and nakedness, visionary ambition and discomfiting honesty collide and combine in the long lines and big scenes of this latest book from the prolific and peripatetic Shimoda (The Inland Sea).

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Girl Without Arms

Pank Magazine

The trouble in reviewing a book like Brandon Shimoda’s The Girl Without Arms is that no matter what the reviewer says, no matter what excerpts are culled, the text will remain very difficult to define without simply saying: go read this book for yourself and see what you find in it.

Jul 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Girl Without Arms

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