September 25, 2015 Admiral Admin Ackbar

Barrow Street 2014 Prize Winner

Danielle Deulen borrows the title of Montaigne’s essay for her extraordinary poetry book Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us. Both philosophical and anecdotal, Deulen’s poems are slippery pronouncements of our ever-allusive present which is co-opted by nostalgia for our past “ancestor utterly naked, rock damp beneath her bare feet” and anxiety for our future in which we will find we “were not, after all, human.” Infused with psychology and cinema, Deulen’s work reads like “poetry vérité.” Fiercely intelligent and unpretentiously profound, Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us is a thoroughly compelling book.
—Denise Duhamel, Contest Judge

The touchstones of Danielle Cadena Deulen’s superb new collection are nothing less than the great philosophers of the Western canon, ranging from the pre-Socratics to Hélène Cixous. Yet her pensées, troubled meditations and edgy but graceful lyrics are too searching and honest to look to these sources for consolation. Instead, these are poems which remind us of what William Matthews saw as one of the core functions of poetry—its recognition of “the need of experience to resist resolution into knowledge.” Deulen’s poems are as impassioned as they are intelligent, as elegant as they are unflinching. Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us is a book of sustained and haunting power.
—David Wojahn

“Did I say / the architecture of air? I meant to say: The spaces / that contain us.”

“We hold our vigils, he holds his sword. We say he is senseless as we hand him the gun.”

The Needle, The Thread

What am I suppose
to do with all of this
happiness? The needle

that pierced through
then the thread that
follows, that seems

immeasurable, but so
thin, delicate. I run
my fingers along

the healed seams
in my skin, the patched
ruptures in the walls

of my mind. But now
the storm has washed
the pavement, lost water

rises from its unadorned
body and the flowering
trees flood the gutters

with pink. What am I
supposed to do with
the scent of the weeds,

the sharp, impatient
greenness of them, split,
as I am, with a history

of sorrow? When I breathe
the sweet June light, my
lungs crackle, my hair

stands on end. What do
I do with this swirl of
pines, the wasp nest’s

astonishing swell, the rifts
in the maple, rough
beneath my hands,

and my God, the sky—
the sky—

Buy Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us (2015) online via our secure payment service, Paypal:
ISBN: 9780989329675