BookBrowse Reviews The Ada Poems by Cynthia Zarin

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The Ada Poems

By Cynthia Zarin

The Ada Poems
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2010,
    80 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Marnie Colton

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A book of poetry that tells a story of obsessive love, inspired by Nabokov's Ada

Reading Vladimir Nabokov's six-hundred page magnum opus, Ada, is much like climbing to the top of a monument, say, Washington, D.C.'s famous obelisk, or Prague's Astronomical Clock Tower: the steep, vertiginous ascent ultimately pays off in a breathtaking view of the landscape below, a landscape you have traversed within the twin cocoons of stairwell and elevator, or in this case, sentence and paragraph, to reach a glorious summit. In other words, it's not a beach read. Cynthia Zarin's bold collection inspired by this tome weighs in at a mere 55 pages of poems, but it stands as its own achievement in its lush distillation of Nabokov's pet themes: time, memory, passion, and the triumph of artifice over fact.

One of the great pleasures of The Ada Poems is its rich imagery firmly based in the sensual world: references to trees, flowers, jewels, animals, insects, colors, and weather ...

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