A debut poetry collection from a writer whose vivid verse explores the connections and relationships that make us human
Sometimes I like to feel sexy. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I like to be very plain. Invisible almost, hiding in plain sight. I want to hide and to be found.
In the spirit of the biblical Song of Solomon, Sylvie Baumgartel’s Song of Songs takes the subjects of love and worship, and brings them to the desperate, wild spaces of domestic life. With a voice at once precise and oneiric, Baumgartel explores the landscapes of sex and desire, power and submission, in this groundbreaking book-length poem that forces us to question the bounds of devotion. An ambitious and vivid debut, Song of Songs is a work of breathtaking honesty, couched in language few of us are brave enough to speak aloud.
Praise for Song of Songs
"The conventional power dynamics of heterosexual love appear in grotesque extremity ('I want to live forever chained at your feet'), but Sylvie’s wit and charm make them more farcical than troubling. The result is a study of devotion and a celebration of the rewards that come from loving with abandon." —The New Yorker
"Baumgartel dodges nothing; instead, in a superheroic move, she grabs the bullet from air thick with tradition and history and swallows it whole . . . her language doubles back and takes up space without apology—a radical act for a femme-presenting speaker when so often women and nonbinary people are forced to be quiet, to be small. Paired with identity, the poem's extremity becomes a political act." —Kate O'Donoghue, The Rumpus