Dreaming My Animal Selves

Le Songe de mes Ames Animales (Bilingual Collection in French and English)

Poetry - General
80 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2013
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Author Biography

HÉLÈNE CARDONA is a poet, literary translator, actor and dream analyst, author of Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016), Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013), Readers' Favorite Book Award in Poetry and Pinnacle Book Award for Best Bilingual Poetry Book winner, International Book Awards and Julie Suk Award in Poetry Finalist, Ce que nous portons (Éditions du Cygne, 2014), her translation of Dorianne Laux, Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press, 2016), her translation of Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, and The Astonished Universe (Red Hen Press). She holds a Master's in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College & Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. She co-edits Plume, Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics, Levure Littéraire, is Essay Contributor for the London Magazine, and was co-editor of Dublin Poetry Review. Hélène had roles in Chocolat, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Muppets Most Wanted, World War Z, Mumford, and Happy Feet 2. For Serendipity, she co-wrote with Peter Chelsom and Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang. She also writes children stories and co-wrote with John FitzGerald the screenplay Primate, based on his novel. Other translations include the Lawrence Bridges film Muse of Fire for the NEA, the poetry of her father José Manuel Cardona, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand, René Depestre, Ernest Pépin, Jacques Crickillon, and Jean-Claude Renard. Born in Paris and raised all over Europe, she has lived in Switzerland, France, England, Wales, Monaco, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Dreaming My Animal Selves: Le Songe de mes Ames Animales (Bilingual Collection in French and English) by Helene Cardona is a bilingual collection, as the title suggests. Bilingual works always help in widening the reader audience. This collection will appeal not only to French but also to English poetry enthusiasts. The poems take you through a surreal and ethereal world, with emphasis on dreaming and visuals that heighten the surrealist effect of the poems. The poem by Rainer Maria Rilke in the prologue speaks about the influence of Rilke in the poet's style and thinking to a large extent.

Bilingual poems are always challenging because translating and keeping the metaphor of the original intact is not an easy task. The poet has done that here with ease and skill. All the poems express freedom, free thinking, and thoughts that are not chained or bound by any rules and norms. That is exactly how poetry should be written. All the poems are rich in imagery and the visuals are highlighted by the word choices and the author's keen eye for detailing. The poems are dreamy, bordering on surrealism, spirituality, and nice imagery.

All the poems are soul-searching and they enchant you with their mysticism and elegance. The surrealist feel in the poems at times makes them wistful and magical. The cosmic forces of the universe, fantasy, surrealism, dreams, and many other topics are part of the theme in the poems. All the poems are crafted well and each has some interesting concept to share with the reader. I haven't read such a beautiful poetry collection in recent times. They are surreal and ethereal with wonderful imagery.