torch song tango choir
The poems in the first section, torch songs, hover near a heartbreaking lyricism as they reckon with political histories, landscapes, and loss. As she writes in this section, there is truly “nothing in this life like being blind in Granada.” The sonnet crown that comprises the next section, tango liso, plots a history of cultural inheritance and renewal, weaving back and forth in time and spanning Argentina, Spain, and the United States. Here the reader encounters Eva Perón alongside Katharine of Aragon and Billie Holiday. The final section, choir, commemorates sites of pilgrimage in Latvia, West Germany, and Spain, among other places. In this extended contemplation of cathedral spaces, Paegle interrogates the boundary between the sacred and the secular, silence and song. What emerges from this diverse collection is a sensual and allusive space where music and memory coincide.
“These torch songs sizzle and flare and cast twisting shadows that darken the pages of this remarkable debut with poems that are deeply thoughtful, culturally curious, environmentally aware, playfully lyrical, and wildly sexy.”—Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding