The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty
Since Milkweed Editions’ original publication of The Phoenix Gone, the Terrace Empty, Marilyn Chin has been widely celebrated as a consummate poet of the hybrid experience. At once ancient and contemporary, personal and political, grounded and yet uniquely dazzling, this extraordinary collection blends Asian and Western sensibilities in a pioneering way.
Here, with wit and energy, Chin defines her existence as a first-generation Asian American woman, effectively straddling two cultures. And she spins virtuoso jazz in her juxtaposition of the contemporary with images and metaphors from Chinese tales and classic poems, creating an expansive poetry of self.
Featuring an afterword by the author addressing the collection’s effect and the developments in her work since, this edition reintroduces a modern classic to a new generation of readers.
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Praise and Prizes
“Marilyn Chin’s poems excite and incite the imagination through their brilliant cultural interfacings, their theatre of anger, ‘fierce and tender,’ their compassion, and their high mockery of wit. Reading her, our sense of the possibilities of poetry is opened further, and we feel again what an active, powerful art it can be.”
“Marilyn Chin’s dazzling longing creates a past that becomes essential to our understanding of her elliptical and passionately insistent poetic statement.”
“Full of mysterious images, gifts from another culture, details that enlarge our world.”
“These poems combine sumptuous imagery and startling, articulate intelligence to explore and record the horrifying as well as the satisfying, the seductive components of hyphenated (American) identity. Marilyn Chin wrestles and she flies with both sides of her continuing history. . . . I cannot imagine a more compelling manuscript of poems centered on the difficult gift of racial and cultural ‘double consciousness.’”
“This is poetry wrought from expansive intelligence in which the ironic or elegiac tone is not derived from mere cleverness or wit, but from the precise and genuine wisdom of the heart.”
“Marilyn Chin has a voice all her own—witty, epigraphic, idiomatic, elegiac, earthly.”