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The Phoenix Gone, the Terrace Empty

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In this dazzling collection, full of wit and energy, Marilyn Chin defines her existence as a first-generation Asian-American woman, effectively straddling two cultures. Chin spins virtuoso jazz in her juxtaposition of the contemporary with images and metaphors from Chinese tales and classic poems, creating a poetry of self that is at once ancient and contemporary, Asian an ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published January 26th 1994 by Milkweed Editions
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Mike Jensen
Feb 13, 2017 Mike Jensen rated it liked it
There were a few poems I just do not understand, never a good sign, but I am very attracted to the greater percentage of those I do like, which are mostly about the poet's Chinese heritage and feeling like a square peg in the round hole of America. I was also quite moved by a poem about the passing her Chin's mother and the promise of a future life without that disapproval. A very nice collection.
Elevate Difference
Jan 27, 2010 Elevate Difference rated it really liked it
I have always been fascinated by the immigrant experience, especially within America. Being fifth generation American myself, it is safe to say I am quite removed from it. Yet I often do research and write about my ancestors, thinking about what they went through when they entered Ellis Island in New York and tried to make a place for themselves in a strange land. One hundred years ago, Europeans flooded our shores, and today, immigrants from many different countries make their way here. Their e ...more
Claudia Putnam
May 12, 2014 Claudia Putnam rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
For instance:


All tempests will render still; seas will calm,
horses will retreat, voices to surrender.

That you have bloomed this way and not that,
that your skin is yellow, not white, not black,
that you were born not a boychild but a girl,
that this world will forever be puce-pink is just as well.

Remember, the survivor is not the strongest or most clever;
merely, the survivor is almost always the youngest.
And you shall have to relinquish that title before long."

From "The Survivor."
Michelle Adams
Nov 17, 2016 Michelle Adams rated it really liked it
This was a stellar poetry collection. I read about Chin prior, and for some reason, based on her bio, I was expecting a sort of monotonous, overly-trained collection of poetry, but I was delightfully surprised.

The poems in this collection are each unique, but all stellar. They transform the natural world into understandable, yet profound, language. I am humbled to have read such an impressive and insightful collection that touches topics from human sexuality to diversity and immigration. *many p
Mar 21, 2016 Brigitte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is probably great poetry, I just wasn't feeling it. I'm not a good judge of poetry and wish I was more into this.
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Marilyn Chin is an award-winning poet and the author of Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, Rhapsody in Plain Yellow, The Phoenix Gone, the Terrace Empty and Dwarf Bamboo. Her writing has appeared in The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

She was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her books have become Asian American classics and are taught in classrooms internationally.
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“All that blooms must fall.” 5 likes
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