Book Review: 'Passenger ultrasound' by Justyna Bargielska (translated from Polish by Katarzyna Szuster)

(Note: I got a review copy from Toad Press in exchange for an honest review)


Toad Press 

"Passenger ultrasound" by Justyna Bargielska is part of Toad Press and its International Chapbook Series. The chapbook was translated from Polish by Katarzyna Szuster. The book was published in 2014.

 Justyna Bargielska is a two-time winner of the Gdynia Literary Prize and has written several poetry and prose books. This is my first time reading her poems, which I feel like I've been missing out now. It's a good thing that we have translators like Katarzyna Szuster.

So overall Bargielska's work is a pleasant collection of modern and fierce poetry. She has a way with words that is both visual and thought-provoking. She's a social activist and adds that to her work with snippets of politics and religion. It's definitely a  brilliant collection that shows you the direction of where poetry is in the 2010s. Hint, it's not dead!

From  the poem,"A poem starting with "p""
the story of conquests of lesser, prettier nations
by larger, uglier nations with this very tongue
 you need to lick quickly and in a sing-song voice, so they heal up shortly
and can be hurt again.  
Above couldn't be truer words for today's world and government. So it's hard to say what's the best poem in "Passenger ultrasound," since all of them are equally impactful, (though I did find "Umlauts" to be a little strange). I could spend the whole time just quoting her work, so one last time:

From the poem "E. & E."
You can miscarry everywhere
and everything. Hence the best
stories are those that end with
the annihilation of the universe just after
the first fuck. 
I read the collection over several times, one reason was that I wanted to get a deeper understanding of her work and the second reason was that I enjoyed it.  I believe that others will be doing the same. So if you are looking for some modern poetry with a bite, go and pick up a copy of "Passenger ultrasound" today. 

Comments