Age of Glass
(Review published in Colorado Review, May 2019)
The speaker in “A Parable” concludes, “It was our time to savage.” Thus begins Anna Maria Hong’s vision in her first poetry collection, Age of Glass, where a fierce and uncompromising feminine voice asserts and empowers itself, notably in a literary landscape that has been dominated by a white male canon. This voice appropriates myths and fables that inform this canon’s assumptions, adding to the diverse and intersectional voices characterizing current poetry.
Hong’s literary landscape is the sonnet. All but three poems riff on this form. Hong’s sonnet disrupts this male-dominated box, this literary container, yet retains its echoes—especially via her stanzas corresponding to a given sonnet’s structure, quatrains followed by couplet or by two tercets (a sestet). Hong’s sonnets do not hold to the end-rhyme scheme, expected volta, nor iambic pentameter. The rhymes can be packed and internal as within the frenetic pace into which the middle of…