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Daydream

Jean Day, author

ISBN: 9781933959368Cover art by Jungah Kim Design by HR Hegnauer10 01 2017104pp$15

Jean Day

Jean Day's recent work can be found in The Triumph of Life, a book of poems published by Insurance Editions in 2016, and in Chicago Review, The Delineator, Across the Margin, Open House, Breather, and Jongler (French). She is the author of five previous books of poetry and several chapbooks, among them Early Bird (O’Clock, 2014) and Enthusiasm: Odes & Otium (Adventures in Poetry, 2006). Her translations from the Russian of poets Nadezhda Kondakova and Ilya Kutik (with Elena Balashova and Lyn Hejinian, respectively), have been published in Third Wave: New Russian Poetry (University of Michigan, 1992), Crossing Centuries: The New Generation in Russian Poetry (Talisman House, 2000), and Big Bridge (www.bigbridge.org, 2013). She lives in Berkeley, where she works as managing editor of Representations, an interdisciplinary humanities journal published by the University of California Press.

Praise for Daydream

Jean Day’s Daydream is a book of rich and constant activity. Thinking turns, meanders, then flits and pauses, touching everything it chances on. The poems sparkle, as thought, like the mind’s sun, reflects back from the myriad facets of things, their residues, and whatever indications they offer of things to come.

For Day the poet, both world and lexicon come fully equipped; writing the poems, she encounters plethoras and embraces them, with stoic acceptance and realist skepticism. It is these that set the pace for these reveries and scintillations, and these that establish the volume’s complex, restless mood. Questions are raised, doubts are entertained (and entertaining). Humor flashes, as does pathos, both piqued by conditions and contents of the world and by words that make stabs at referring to them. And all the while, judgment is withheld. It is this refusal to judge, the refusal to curtail encounter and response, that serves as the activist principle—the reality principle—propelling the works of Daydream. This book is both provocative and miraculous.

Lyn Hejinian

Jean Day’s Daydream is brilliantly astute, imaginative, and keen—let us not be “deaf to its obvious aptness.” Day’s discerning eye-mind upturns the world we think we live in by pondering and questioning and inviting the reader to share in the pleasure of “beautiful problems, which / arise as toughened thought.” This attention, curiosity, and reverent regard for our everyday surrounds—here local, there global—is the book’s tuning fork. Daydream makes a meal “amid the nutrionless corn” of daily modern life. Where “So / much flowering is imitation,” Day’s writing blooms singularly.

Alli Warren

Excerpt from Daydream

A bird shouldn’t whinny
should it? Nature prefers
certain limits. No thanks
I say to the dream
someone else had
in my bed. Soft cogs
in the logjam of air-
waves declare
something faulty
in it. Ascending, throaty,
as though shaken
behind a latex
membrane
the wood thrush
is factual, repeating for
show the lazy notations
misheard on purpose
(Helsinki 1990)
whose decibels equal
a liquid incline
To each her own
sound in time
A tree resists
Resin does not
though it lasts
and lasts