Wound Is the Origin of Wonder: Poems (Paperback)

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Wound Is the Origin of Wonder: Poems By Maya C. Popa Cover Image
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“Lyrical, beautiful, and descriptive.” —Mandana Chaffa, BOMB

“In ravishing, formally exploratory poems, Maya C. Popa wields the lyric like a reparative scalpel, evoking wonder and woundedness in equal measure.” —Meghan O’Rourke

Award-winning poet Maya C. Popa suggests that our restless desires are inseparable from our mortality in this pressing and precise collection. Rooting out profound meaning in language to wrench us from the moorings of the familiar and into the realm of the extraordinary, the volume asks, how do we articulate what’s by definition inarticulable? Where does sight end and imagination begin?

Lucid and musically rich, these poems sound an appeal to a dwindling natural world and summon moments from the lives of literary forbearers—John Milton’s visit to Galileo, a vase broken by Marcel Proust—to unveil fresh wonder in the unlikely meetings of the past. Popa dramatizes the difficulties of loving a world that is at once rich with beauty and full of opportunities for grief, and reveals that the natural arc of wonder, from astonishment to reflection, more deeply connects us with our humanity.

About the Author

Maya C. Popa is the author of American Faith, recipient of the North American Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in the Nation and the Paris Review, among other publications. The poetry reviews editor at Publishers Weekly, she lives in New York City.

Praise For…

Wound Is the Origin of Wonder showcases Popa’s ability to weave together rich internal reflections with finely wrought observations of the natural world.

— Celeste Chen - Harvard Review

The astounding poem ‘Dear Life’ opens this meditative and purposefully heart-decelerating second collection.… With an extraordinary poetic patience, Popa reminds us that a wound ‘is where the light enters us.’
— Oluwaseun Olayiwola - Guardian

Staggering.… [T]he beauty and bravery of Popa’s work, her gentle urgency and profound declarations of love, loss, and longing, resonate in the insistent hopefulness on which her poems ultimately land.
— Shannon Nakai - Heavy Feather Review

Astonishingly beautiful.… [I]lluminated by an original light like no other.
— Martina Evans - Irish Times

Popa is both inheritor and innovator of the American lyric tradition.… This is the kind of poetry that unlocks windows of possibility within a reader.
— Ellora Sutton - Mslexia

Subtle and gorgeous.… The ecstatic language of these meditations and confessions is animated as much by pain as by joy.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

A remarkable collection from an early-career poet very much making her ascendance.
— Booklist

Popa’s elegant and moving exploration of grief and its causes and manifestations is more nuanced than simply observing that loss and living go hand-in-hand.
— Sarah Kain Gutowski - New York Journal of Books

Wound Is the Origin of Wonder is stunning for how it miraculously balances tenderness and terror.

— Hanif Abdurraqib

When I reached the end of this book, I wasn’t ready for its spell to be broken, not yet, so I began it again.
— Maggie Smith

Wound Is the Origin of Wonder is a complex, searching collection, one I will be returning to for years.

— Kaveh Akbar
Product Details
ISBN: 9781324076216
ISBN-10: 1324076216
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 18th, 2024
Pages: 96
Language: English