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. Her books include Life in Suspension and Dreaming My Animal Selves (both Salmon Poetry) and the translations Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry), The Abduction (Maram Al-Masri, White Pine Press), Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press), Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne), and Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings (University of Iowa’s WhitmanWeb). Her own work has been translated into 18 languages.
The recipient of over 20 honors & awards, including the Independent Press Award, a Hemingway Grant and an Albertine and FACE Foundation Grant, she holds an MA in American Literature from the Sorbonne, received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy, and taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University.
Hélène had roles in Chocolat, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, John Wick: Chapter 4, 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 wrote and sang the song Lucienne. She also writes children stories and co-wrote with John FitzGerald the screenplay Primate, based on his novel.
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.