The Paris Review

Staff Picks: Museum Heists, Midsixties Teens, and Munchesque Prisoners

Photo: Lucas Marquardt.

Ada Limón’s poetry is like staring into a cloudy night sky and searching desperately for any signs of a star. Just when you’re about to give up, you find a single pinprick in the dark, enough light to remind you that something’s out there. With each poem in her new collection, , Limón counterbalances her most paralyzing fears with her ability to find small twinges of hope. Much of Limón’s pain originates in her body: her twisted spine, her inability to conceive. “What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?” she despairs in “The Vulture and the Body.” But Limón’s pain supersedes the physical; through verse, her body becomes a simulacra of the political dread that has been sowed across the country. In the chilling lines of “A New National Anthem,” Limón wonders, “Perhaps / the truth is every song of this country/ has an unsung third stanza, something brutal / snaking underneath us … ” The only way Limón can face the overwhelming aspects of her existence is with

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: The Rapturous Monotony of Metal, Water, Stone
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review8 min read
Object Worlds and Inner States
Mughal dynasty, Jahangir and Prince Khurram Entertained by Nur Jahan, ca. 1645, opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper. Via Wikimedia Commons. “Look! Look! If you look really hard at things, you’ll forget you’re going to die,” an American actor is
The Paris Review9 min readFood & Wine
Cooking with Bruno Schulz
In Valerie Stivers’s Eat Your Words series, she cooks up recipes drawn from the works of various writers. I have unusually clear memories of early childhood, including one about the bright-white lines of a tennis court when I could only just crawl a