In this Book

The Price of Scarlet
summary

A honeycomb long vacated by honeybees still possesses an "echo of the swarm, / a lingering song ." Living things are made and make themselves: "My bones came first. / Like long needles, / they knitted muscle / and tendon / and tissue and skin. / Filled themselves / with marrow."

In her debut collection, Brianna Noll fuses the scientific and fantastic, posing probing questions that explore the paradoxes of experience. Interweaving themes of creation, art, and nature, the poet gives voice to animate and inanimate figures such as woolly mammoths, star-nosed moles, cells, mylar balloons, and puzzle boxes. Her vivid poems obscure the line between what is literal and what is figurative. The result is alchemic and ethereal -- each verse intricately layered with sharp observation as well as emotional and intellectual exploration and questioning.

Collectively, the poems draw significantly on Japanese culture and language in their imagery, with cultural nuances and implications embedded in words and expressions. They tend to be tied, not to subjects, but to ways of seeing and considering the world. Noll's lyrical voice reflects a curious and imaginative approach that results in tight poems, typically enjambed, which build together into a thoughtful collection. Her work offers ways of seeing and considering the world that exceed our lived experience, begging the reader to consider how far we are willing to go when faced with roadblocks, doubts, and uncertainties.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Part I
  1. Nocturne
  2. p. 3
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  1. He Awakens Our Imagination, Our Desire to Transform
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. A Polarized Scene
  2. p. 6
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  1. Flavor Is the Price of Scarlet
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. Questioning Diurnal Thinking
  2. p. 9
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  1. The Sound of the Wind in Newport
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. After the Storm Passes
  2. p. 12
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  1. Some Questions about De-extinction
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Medusa Likens Her Gifts to Pseudoscience
  2. p. 15
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  1. On the Violence of Doubt
  2. pp. 16-17
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  1. Pictures at an Exposition
  2. pp. 18-19
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  1. Haibun on the 650-lb Grand Piano Standing Upright in Biscayne Bay
  2. p. 20
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  1. Pythia of the Fields
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Mysteries of the Sightline of the Ever-Virgin Mother
  2. p. 23
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  1. When the Crickets Clash
  2. pp. 24-25
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  1. The Need for Ornamental Hermits Is on the Decline
  2. p. 26
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  1. The Homeopath Is a Confectioner
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. Unsung Elegies Offend
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. As Winter Ends, We Marvel at the Sun
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. Part II
  1. The Imaginary Space Where Parallel Lines Intersect
  2. p. 35
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  1. Missed Connection
  2. p. 36
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  1. Alternate Plumage
  2. p. 37
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  1. First Impression as Enchiridion or Score
  2. p. 38
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  1. Intricacies of Our Japanese Puzzle Box
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. On Social Graces
  2. p. 41
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  1. A Pagan Love Story
  2. p. 42
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  1. The Heart Is No Shapeshifter
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. Hymn
  2. p. 45
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  1. In the Alternate Universe
  2. p. 46
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  1. It's Hubris Makes Us Think Ourselves Large
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. A World Made of String
  2. p. 49
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  1. When the Difference Is Almost Nil
  2. pp. 50-51
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  1. Revision
  2. p. 52
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  1. Two Kinds of Conception
  2. p. 53
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  1. Creation Myth
  2. pp. 54-55
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  1. Lament, with a Line from Tennyson
  2. p. 56
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  1. The Chosen
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. A Cunning Ecosystem
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. Corrosives
  2. pp. 61-62
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  1. On the Flood, Grown More Perilous
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. Sometimes, We Think of Our Place in the World
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. A Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush
  2. p. 67
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  1. Wabi Sabi
  2. p. 68
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  1. A SIngle Mulberry Tree and a Colony of SIlkworms Hanging Like Fruit
  2. pp. 69-70
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. It's Not Glossolalia,
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. Vantage
  2. p. 75
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  1. What Returns from Sea
  2. pp. 76-77
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  1. Kintsugi
  2. pp. 78-79
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  1. What Bedtime Stories Become
  2. pp. 80-81
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  1. Divination
  2. pp. 82-83
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  1. We'll know to imagine the horse's snout, the gelatinous head of the octopus
  2. p. 84
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  1. Resonance
  2. p. 85
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  1. A Lesson in Sight
  2. p. 86
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  1. Yugen
  2. p. 87
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  1. Dawn
  2. pp. 88-89
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  1. Not Ruins: Reclamations
  2. p. 90
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  1. Shibui
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. Minka
  2. pp. 93-94
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  1. Understanding by Comparison
  2. p. 95
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  1. Everything Beautiful Has a Name
  2. p. 96
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  1. Material and Transcendent
  2. pp. 97-98
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 99-100
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 101-102
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  1. Index of First Lines
  2. pp. 103-105
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  1. New Poetry and Prose Series
  2. pp. 106-108
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