Hiraide’s writing shines a light into the connections that come from living fully in the moments of our pleasure, and the sorrow that comes when such moments pass into what he so aptly calls “the darkness of time.” Hiraide’s writing is lyrical and captivating––his description of the relationship he develops with a dragonfly mesmerizes––and I will revisit The Guest Cat with pleasure, much as I return to favorite poems and paintings and memories. Fate goes where she wishes, times passes without pause, but our experiences of events belongs wholly to us in the moment, no matter the engulfing darkness to come.

A brooding woman who pulls herself together by working in tight forms, Smith has a style that people call idiosyncratic, but I think it’s merely historical. Like her British male contemporaries W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, Smith pulled in the verse techniques of an earlier century and used them to ironic advantage. These poets synthesized literary traditions instead of flinging them away wholesale—they were all eighteenth century poets of a sort.

Paris Review – A Chain on the Great Feelings, Diane Mehta

A brooding woman who pulls herself together by working in tight forms, Smith has a style that people call idiosyncratic, but I think it’s merely historical. Like her British male contemporaries W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, Smith pulled in the verse techniques of an earlier century and used them to ironic advantage. These poets synthesized literary traditions instead of flinging them away wholesale—they were all eighteenth century poets of a sort.

Paris Review – A Chain on the Great Feelings, Diane Mehta