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Only Blue Body

Rosalynde Vas Dias

Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry (2011)

Only Blue Body is about becoming animal in a world that is not fairytale. Exquisitely written, its poems boldly confront contemporary fear and beauty. "I've always wanted dark blue skin" writes the poet -- and it's a bruise she's after, the throat unguarded, the jaw tipped upward. Viewed from a "constricted point of light," everything is out of scale, fearfully small or far too big. Much of the imagery startles: a mosquito becomes a brood mare, a horse a grackle. You can't take your eyes off the fire's "salamander-shaped eddies" because nothing in the poem suggests its arrival, nothing predicts its exit. -- Contest judge Terese Svoboda
It's a strange and entrancing world Rosalynde Vas Dias introduces us to in Only Blue Body, a looking glass world that captures animals, insects and flowers in curious animations. Often endearing and funny, these poems can also turn sensual and erotic, trailing a whiff of danger, as in the indelible "Night Work at Jeff's," where a naked photographer and his naked assistant engage in pose and play with sawhorse, saddle and bridle. The images in Only Blue Body are hallucinatory, gorgeous; the turns unfailingly surprising. -- Dana Levin
Rosalynde Vas Dias is a world builder. In this stunning debut collection of elegant poems, Only Blue Body interrogates both the body and the soul through kinetic language and with wicked intellect. Vas Dias's poems navigate the worlds between reality and fable seamlessly, and she manages to entertain us along the way. This collection seduces and alerts, invents and puns, and always pays off with a world all will want to inhabit. This is an original voice rising above the masses, contained in a brilliant collection. -- A. Van Jordan

Book Cover Goes Here

Cover: Horse with Pretty Hair, by Xander Marro


from Only Blue Body

But if the body were blue.
If I could tie myself

to the body as the body is tied
in the photograph --

shoulders straining back,
jaw tipped upward so the throat

is unguarded; if it were dark blue --
the only blue body in the world --

I could always find it.
It would always be mine.

(publiished in West Branch 71,
Fall 2012)


Only Blue Body - Available now from Anhinga Press

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Document last modified: May 31, 2014 3:05 PM