The Body is a Little Gilded Cage

TheBodyisaLittleGildedCageCOVERFINALThe Body is a Little Gilded Cage:  A Story in Letters & Fragments.  Gold Wake Press, 2013.  Available here.

Praise for The Body is a Little Gilded Cage:

In the fine mesh of these poems Kristina Maria Darling recovers from H.D.’s correspondence a dream city suffused with Eros and a chilly nostalgia. Here delicate, archetypical image making is counter-pointed by the wry convolutions of her footnotes and appendices. Definitions dilate into images, memory, hieroglyphs moving us deeper into the vascular corridors of a mystical sub consciousness. Eat this lotus and do not worry about going home.

—Joe Hall, author of Pigafetta is My Wife

Virtually no found form goes unfound in Kristina Marie Darling’s The Body is a Little Gilded Cage. Footnotes and appendices, letters and lists, definitions and glossaries compound architecturally into a devastatingly well-dressed, fin-de-siècle whole. Bedecked in feathers, bones, buttons and flowers, Darling’s fragments coruscate and clink together, catching the light, catching your eye like the most decadent chandelier, illuminating your way through “the arcades of a cathedral” and showing you “maps of the hidden rooms” where you might find the ghost of Hilda Doolittle under “a cold, white moon.”

—Kathleen Rooney, author of Oneiromance (an epithalamion)

Might I make a suggestion to the reader finding his or her way to Kristina Marie Darling’s The Body Is a Gilded Cage? Imagine the subjective experience of a chandelier. And not just because of the chandelier’s resemblance to a cage, and not just because a chandelier is, at its heart, a collection of fragments, but because of the very intricately beveled edge multiplying throughout. Imagine the chandelier observing reality, and you will understand how to read Darling’s book of poems.

—Kent Shaw, author of Calenture

Told in footnotes, glossaries, and mysterious, incomplete letters, The Body is A Little Gilded Cage transcends and expands traditional narrative with delightful results.  Both sensual and sinister, it’s a  story concealed in the deep folds of velvet curtains, revealed a little bit more with each spin of dancers, each turn of the antique phonograph.

—Kristy Bowen, author The Fever Almanac

Reviews of The Body is a Little Gilded Cage:

“The whole assemblage is, I found, rather dazzling, combining wit, sensuality, precision and an wry acceptance of the elusiveness of meaning, above all the meaning of self.”— Stride Magazine.

“In short: Kristina Marie Darling’s The Body is a Little Gilded Cage is the best book that Darling has written and the best book that Gold Wake Press has produced.”—PANK Magazine.

“This is a curious, lovely collection of bits and pieces that are so light and clear, like crystal, that the quiet act of reading is all it takes to electrify them.”—The Prose-Poem Project.

“Before one understands that it is entirely possible Darling was channeling the modernist poet Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) when writing this collection, one is struck by Darling’s evocation of the fin de siècle, an artistic climate of sophistication, escapism, extreme aestheticism, world-weariness, and fashionable despair occurring at the end of the 19th century. Her aesthetic standpoint is sublime.”—Tuck Magazine.

“Darling’s collection sounds as if it is written from the perspective of a contemporary author looking back to the fin de siècle, as well as by a resident of the period mourning the tangible (and intangible) ecstasies and losses of a shimmering present.”—The Adirondack Review.

“What she does, Darling does very well.  So much of what can be found in this spare collection is beautiful.”—The Rumpus.

“These poems are never without music, never without accomplishment.”—Rufous City Review.

“Here is a little cabinet of wonder, a kit for entrancement, a ‘noctuary’ of sorts, to use one of this text’s defining words….What Darling gives us is the mystery of a dream entered, fire and feathers, promise and threat.”—Decomp Magazine.

“These are poems which are often gorgeous, disruptive, opaque; the poems, particularly in reading through the collection, accrue into meaning, into a voyage through not only night, but attraction, lust, impulse, and self-consciousness.”—Gently Read Literature.

“This book itself is ‘a little gilded cage’ of strange and luminous loveliness, a shattering, as of the prismatic light of a crystal chandelier, or of mirrors, or of stained-glass cathedral windows. It is a shadowy flickering of candlelight on white walls.”—The Prick of the Spindle.

“Darling’s collection reads like an exploded novel; only the most elusive, beautiful fragments, the elegant contours, remain. The effect is of a story unearthed, the sands of unnecessary traditional structure and formality brushed away. The bones of H.D.’s story are laid bare, examined, and catalogued, giving us a glimpse into her elusive world.”—Hiram Poetry Review.

“Darling’s poems seek to explore that feeling of entrapment within the sensual realm of the body as it looks out and experiences the myriad of sensations inflicted upon it… On the back cover of the book, Kent Shaw imagines the poems observing reality in the way a chandelier envisions things: this seems entirely accurate–fragmented, sharp edges, intricate designs, old worldly, and incredibly stunning.”—Anne Champion, author of Reluctant Mistress.

“Kristina Marie Darling’s latest collection of poems…is wondrous, indulgent, and lush.”—Poet Hound.

“The delicacy of the poems in Kristina Marie Darling’s collection, The Body is a Little Gilded Cage, is really quite astounding… A beautiful little book.”—The Used Furniture Review.

“One of the most enjoyable and well laid out books I’ve read this year.” —HTML Giant.

“The strength of Darling’s prose lies in her ability to breath life, not into what is described, but  rather what is implied. Her gift to the reader is a series of heart-stoppingly beautiful vignettes, which build in passion and then at its height, crushingly leave us to the void. These are gems on which to trod as stepping stones, until they fall away and leave us staggering for another, any other…..until we turn a page.”—Sein und Werden.

Interviews about The Body is a Little Gilded Cage:

American Literary Review

Barn Owl Review


The Nervous Breakdown

Poet Hound

Short, Fast, and Deadly

Additional Features:

Best of the Small Press

Gently Read Literature Best of 2012

National Book Critics Circle News New and Noteworthy Books

The Orange Alert Podcast

Verse Daily


Two poems in Softblow

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