Grotesque Weather and Good People

Grotesque Weather and Good People

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Author: Solah Lim

Translators: Olan Munson and Oh Eunkyung

Publisher: Black Ocean (2022)

By turns humorous and dark, these poems explore the simultaneous intimacy and alienation of everyday life in urban Seoul. Writing in a simple vernacular, Lim Solah’s lyricastruggles with the poet’s call to “wonder” in a world lurking with quiet dissonance and horror. Many of these poems incorporate elements of drama and fiction, including documentary, collapsing the boundaries between the imaginary and the real as they explore the writer's relationship with multitudinous versions of her many selves. 

While BTS light up the charts and Korean films gather international awards, Lim's poems paint a strange and disorienting map of the consciousness of the so-called "spec" generation that calls their country Hell Chosun. This is a voice on fire from a world on fire. Readers from Seoul to Seattle to Slovenia to Singapore will find it familiar. Since that world is also the one in which we all live.

“Lim Solah is a rare poet-seer who looks so closely at creatures great and small that she plunges in and inhabits them. In doing so, her introspections take us face to face with the city of Seoul, full of gusto and disgust, showing us the best way to see something is to become it. A post-human prayer book, urban survivor’s guide, and primer on the meteorology of awareness, this is a tome of ecstasy—open only to those courageous enough to venture outside themselves.”

–Loren Goodman

“Lim Solah is a joyous, irreverent auteur whose remit remains unapologetically visionary: ‘I want to see a giraffe. I go to see a giraffe. // I fail to see a giraffe / so I make a giraffe.’ Quizzing the quiddities inside our everyday mundanities, here is a poet “peep[ing] into the rifts in the air” ... Lim's enchantments are incantatory responses, laboring playfully toward a powerfully estranging logic. Read these poems: see, sense, feel as if for a first time.”

–Dan Disney