Heart Strong, Selected Poems 2000-2012 eBook
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Heart Strong, Selected Poems 2000-2012 includes Nina Serrano’s most matured poems as well as many drawings extracted from her journals and dreams, or drawn expressly for a particular poem to extend the poetic visions beyond words. The exquisite cover by Adrian Arias and the other paintings and photographs presented in the book are by artist friends. Estuary Press’ production values enhance the volume, from the layout of the drawings and poems to the table of contents and the inclusion of endnotes to explain the historic context of the poems and their poetic form, for later generations of readers.
“Nina Serrano writes, “I saw myself / reflected in a puddle of tears” and “There’s an old woman in a glittery tee shirt smiling at me.” The poems in Heart Strong swirl in different directions, but they always find their way back to that face in the mirror, the poet’ssole self— an entity which is simultaneously in violent movement and at utter rest: “later realizing the wildness / was me.” What Serrano sees is theheart-selfraging. Her words and images tell the tale of a woman existing in the midst of history— in an age in which, strangely enough, it seems absolutely necessary to affirm that one can feel love. How, in the murderous twentieth/ twenty-first century (“ All My Life There Has Always Been a War,” “War Against the Earth,” “Protestor’s Blues”), can love exist at all? Heart Strong tells how it can exist, and flourish, and even— in the midst of horror both personal and historical— heal. A strong heart (a strong heart is the very basis of poetry) can be a weapon.”
Jack Foley, Poet, critic, radio host, author of Visions and Affiliations: California Poetry from 1940-2005.