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The Sun & the Moon by Kristina Marie Darling Reviewed on New Pages


The Sun & The Moon

  • Image
  • Poetry
  •  Kristina Marie Darling
  • September 2014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-60964-191-7
  • Paperback
  • 66pp
  • $16.00
  • Kimberly Ann
I just finished reading Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a novel in which the narrator desires that she and her sister resist the socio-economic structure of 1950s New England and reside, instead, on the moon. They finally do achieve this goal by converting their large house into a smaller living space, boarded-up and isolated from the outside world. In novels like Castle, women often reinterpret the boundaries of living spaces in their writing partly because traditional domestic contracts and spaces constrain emotion, creativity, and grief. In her book of poems titled The Sun & the Moon, Kristina Marie Darling contributes to this collective literary voice that unfetters domestic space as her speaker grieves and examines a past marital relationship. The Sun and the Moon, representing respectively a husband and wife, are always at opposite poles in this space that reels with cinematic flashes of memory and the ghosts that inhabit memory over time. 

Darling’s astrological house is inhabited with violent ghosts that “drag those cold stars behind them” and “(start) polishing the knives.” The poems unfold like a story as the first-person female speaker reminisces about ghost’s gradual possession of the domestic domain while the “sun” burns up and the “moon” fades away. Neither partner is able to escape the burdens and desires they drag into the marriage, creating a relational void that apocalyptically flares into violence and retreats behind closed doors, more than hinting at an abusive situation. 
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The Sun & the Moon by Kristina Marie Darling Now Available!

 In poems lit by an incendiary marriage, Kristina Marie Darling traces a story that begins, as stories often do, “as a small mark on the horizon.” Brave and haunted, these poems burn down to ash and winter, daring to unlock the spell of memory’s silver flashings. The small remains, like distant stars, make a moving portrait.

—Mary Ann Samyn, author of My Life in Heaven

“By then I could barely speak,” Kristina Marie Darling writes, in a collection that mirrors the dissolution of a relationship: mythologizing, erasing, reinventing, and, finally, reinvestigating itself. The Sun & the Moon is rooted in the liminal, where the ghosts that populate these poems become more human than the couple whose house they inhabit, whose drawers they open, whose clothes they wear. Everything is simultaneously burning and freezing, brightening and dimming, so that the stagnancy of a relationship becomes eerily unsettling—claustrophobic and violent—a place for knives and locks and ash. “It’s the strangest things that keep me from leaving.” It’s the same devastatingly strange things that will make readers stay.

—Corey Van Landingham, author of Antidote

“From what I understood, the ghosts had always been volatile.” Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & the Moon is a homage to the mutability of consciousness and memory. These prose-poems and erasures achieve a kind of Victorian noir by turning the cluttered, dangerous spaces of desire and mourning into irreducible images. Smudged with ash, soot and dark red stars, The Sun & the Moon renders a universe of jagged, dazzling relics that haunt and captivate us long after the book is finished.”

—Kara Candito, author of Spectator and Taste of Cherry

Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & the Moon takes as its metaphor the astronomical clock. The “I” and “you” of these poems are celestial bodies that inhabit the same system, yet are ever distant from one another. These poems become rooms of a gothic house haunted by ghosts that the speaker appears to be one of, at times, and threatened by, at others. The Sun & the Moon is a dreamscape of remnants—ashes, envelopes, and knives—that mark moments of misconnection as though erased from memory.

—Tyler Mills, author of Tongue Lyre

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of seventeen books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014). Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 66 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-191-7




The SUN & the MOON by Kristina Marie Darling Book Preview

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