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Merle

Merle

My Urohs by Emelihter Kihleng

My Urohs - Emelihter Kihleng

I’m rating this only because if I don’t, it’ll look like a zero-star and it isn’t that bad.

 

This is a slim collection of poetry by an author from Pohnpei, an island in the Federated States of Micronesia. I freely admit to not being a poetry reader and therefore not the best judge of it, but my world books challenge has taken me out of my comfort zone in all kinds of ways and this book was the best option for Micronesia. I liked it best when it talked about aspects of life in Pohnpei and the author’s feelings about her country (having lived abroad but returned).

 

But for the most part I was underwhelmed. This is free verse without any arresting turns of phrase or particular rhythm, so I didn’t see much in it in a literary sense (though I admit to being a skeptic about free verse generally; it seems like the only thing making it “verse” rather than a few sentences or scattered phrases is the insertion of random line breaks). Also, the author uses a lot of Pohnpeian words, some of which are translated in footnotes but many of which are not, which makes it difficult for a foreign reader to fully understand what’s going on. This collection is probably best enjoyed by Micronesian readers.