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In Reenactments poet Hai Dang Phan explores the history memory and legacy of the Vietnam War from his vantage point as a second generation Vietnamese American Woven throughout the poems is a narrative of his family's exodus from Vietnam tha. Reenactments joints Viet Thanh Nguyen's Sympathizer as the most searching literary engagement with the experience of the South Vietnamese diaspora The volume is comprised of Phan's own lyrical excavations of the traumas of his refuge family his father was a captain in the South Vietnamese Navy and of his translationsadaptations some apparently looser than others of poems by Vietnamese poets It's an important move since it makes it clear that Phan understands his own experiences as part of a larger chorus The final poem in the volume My Mother Says the Syrian Refugees Look like Tourists cast those experience in the larger movement of people which is along with the related reality of what we're doinghave done to the climate the central issue of our benighted centuryThat's the frame but the power of the volume lies in Phan's voice his ability mine lyrical shafts into image worlds that are both familiar and disconcerting I marked something in a large majority of the poems and there are countless lines I'll return to but these offer a sense of the voiceTomorrow's another country where here will beelsewhere and I'll not know the names of the treesFor Fachil AssultaniThis is a warm up exercise my morning ritual in dark times the pages of the orange notebook fillingand filling with everything I see a tracery of flight paths wave forms tread marks and even I cannot faceAccumulation and attrition The clouded black surface of the carrier deck Events Ashore Daily nightly along the shores of lightthe events that will not end and have only just begun The horizon Events AshoreYou can pretty much open at random but the poems I'd particularly recommend include A Brief History of Reenactment My Father's Norton Introduction to Literature Third Edition 1981 which provides a beautifully culture specific take on how reading can echo the power of the African American musical tradition of call and response and Waiting for al aedaImportant part of what's clearly a moment of unusual power and depth in American poetry

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ReenactmentsT beautifully elucidates the American record of immigration dislocation inheritance and ultimately hope The poems are persuasively varied in their approach The past and present the remembered and imagined all intersect at shifting angles pr. Written by a poet born in Vietnam in 1980 whose family came as refugees to the US when he was a young child these poems on the whole strike me as carefully precise conscientiously well researched documentarian self effacing understated spoken in a level uiet voice and therefore entirely believable But here and there an unguarded seeming wistfulnessthe crack of a bat sent a tiny mooninto orbitand you had no team you did not knowwhom to root for home or awayThe poet manifests a deep uiet interest in the technical military details of Vietnam War narratives as evidenced by his easy fluency in weaponry nomenclature the names of different kinds of guns aircraft boats A prominent section of the book delves into the subculture of military reenactors trying to understand what light their activities their obsessively accurate costumes and props can shed on the persistent legacy of wars in general Now and then though Phan catches you off guard with a strikingly vital fresh human way of namingAirplanes nosing into positiontipped and alert like nipplesI like how in addition to Hai Dang Phan's own poems this book also includes Hai Dang Phan's translations of Vietnamese poets who writewrote in Vietnamese mostly Phan Nhien Hao but also a few others This uniue compositional strategy strikes me as of a piece with Hai Dang Phan's self effacing tone in his own poetry an intentional decision to move the book beyond the limits of the merely personal beyond the limits of the emotion driven single voice memoir to create a broader complex global picture of his subject The translated Phan Nhien Hao poems not only concern Vietnam but also present Phan Nhien Hao's drily eagle eyed observations of 1990s America during a bus trip from Atlanta to Seattle from his valuable vantage point as a canny outsiderThe must read poem in this collection though if one is forced to pick one is Hai Dang Phan's My Father's Norton Introduction to Literature Third Edition 1981 which can be read here and was also selected for the 2016 edition of the Best American Poetry anthology series

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FREE DOWNLOAD · Reenactments Ï [PDF / Epub] ✅ Reenactments By Hai-Dang Phan – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk In Reenactments poet Hai Dang Phan explores the history memory and legacy of the Vietnam War from his vantage point as a second generation Vietnamese American Woven throughout the poems is a narrative In Reenactments poet Hai Dang Phan explorOviding bold new perspectives And in a fresh move Phan widens the lens interspersing translations of several other contemporary Vietnamese poems to the mix This subtle and moving debut is an important addition to the literature of immigrati. This is a lovely fascinating collection of poetryIt is at once a look back at a history of wars and a celebration of life lived after escape There is a sort of universality to the way that children play war that is addressed in the beautiful opening poems and that slowly seeps through the rest of the book as how we are all affected by our histories of warThese poems are interspersed with translations that have a very different tone Where the poet is calm the translations are bitter infused with anger At first this juxtaposition really threw me off but as the book went on I fell in love a bit with how they played off of one anotherIt is a fantastic collection and I will certainly seek out from this poet in the future