Reviews

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"In the beginning, I suspected that Friman had set out to write against some kind of scientific discourse, because of the apparent tension in several poems between the speaker’s worldview and what I perceived to be a scientific worldview. “Bluer than Blue,” for example, looks at the sky from two competing perspectives. The poem begins with the phrase “Scientists say,” and after invoking “vapors,” “wavelengths” and “Lord Rayleigh’s law of scattering,” counters with “But I say…” and provides an alternate rendering of the sky, one that personifies Earth: “our own girl—gussied up/ in her best blue atmosphere/ for her autumnal tango/ with a star.” The deeper I got into the collection, however, the more apparent it became that Friman—from the “telescopic” perspective— was writing not against science, but scientism; the belief that science can provide some type of “ultimate truth.” 

     

The way the collection reconciles seemingly opposed perspectives is via a rejection of “ultimate truths.” By approaching the universe through the microscopic and telescopic, The View from Saturn asserts the notion that from every perspective, every speaker is author of a unique narrative. What is a worldview anyway, if not a story? Friman seduces through and appears to be seduced by the vehicle of narrative: language"

- Tariq al Haydar, rev. of The View from Saturn in The Rumpus

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