The poems comprising Babette by Sara Deniz Akant (Rescue Press), are haunted, paradoxical, and beyond time. Who is Babette exactly? According to an interview with the Heavy Feather Review, Akant said that Babette is a "necessary nucleus" of all that is evil about space and time, along with being a "sort of rep for the multiple self."
Encountering Babette can feel a little jarring at first. But like any new experience, patience yields rewards. In this case, Akant's work feels very ethereal and places she takes the reader at the edges of space and time are unlike anything I've read before.
Maggie Nelson writes, "Let me tell you some things about Babette. It doesn't sound like anything else... It is a deeply weird, expert emissary from a world already fully formed."
Let's look at a section from "gohst,"
the past two years she has been opening the door
and entering the room to make it beautiful.
she had been dusting a perfuming its curtains
so tidying and redecorating was always
changing, getting older, getting better, as they say.
The collection feels ancient. Some of the figures are specters and it relies on very old words with unfamiliar definitions. For our readers who are looking for interesting, unique poetry, I would definitely recommend Babette. I found it challenging at first, but after giving it time, Akant's goals became apparent and I was able to appreciate these unearthly poems.