Lee Ann Roripaugh
has been hailed by Ishmael Reed
as "one of the brightest talents" writing poetry today. In this collection, she gives voice to the Japanese immigrants of the American West. In an unforgiving land of dirt and sagebrush, mothers labor to teach their children of the ocean, old men are displaced by geography and language, and the ghosts of Hiroshima clamor for peace. Lee Ann Roripaugh
's exquisitely crafted poems rise from the pages of Beyond Heart Mountain
burdened with memory and pain, yet converting these to powerful art--art that is like "the pattern of kimono found burned into a woman after Hiroshima . . . almost too beautiful, too horrible . . . to bear."
Remember to raise
bright orbs of rice-paper lanterns
by the goldfish pond,
so they can watch for me
with the yellow, unblinking gaze
of nocturnal things . . .
--from "Peony Lantern"