Research Catalog

Iron goddess of mercy : a poem

Iron goddess of mercy : a poem / Larissa Lai.
Lai, Larissa,
Vancouver, BC, Canada : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2021]

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TextUse in libraryRequestJFD 21-2465Schwarzman Building - Main Reading Room 315


186 pages : illustrations; 21 cm
Additional Formats (note)
  • Issued also in electronic format.
Call Number
JFD 21-2465
  • 9781551528441
  • 1551528444
Lai, Larissa, author.
Iron goddess of mercy : a poem / Larissa Lai.
Vancouver, BC, Canada : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2021]
Type of Content
still image
Type of Medium
Type of Carrier
"Larissa Lai's Iron Goddess of Mercy is a long poem that captures the vengeful yet hopeful movement of the Furies mid-whirl and dances with them through the horror of the long now. Inspired by the tumultuous history of Hong Kong, from the Japanese and British occupations to the ongoing pro-democracy protests, the poem interrogates the complicated notion of identity, offering a prism through which the term "Asian" can be understood to make sense (or nonsense) of a complex set of relations. The self crystallizes in moments of solidity, only to dissolve and whirl away again. The poet is a windsock, catching all the affect that blows at her and ballooning to fullness, only to empty again when the wind changes direction. Iron Goddess of Mercy is a game of mah-jong played deep into the night, an endless gamble. Presented in sixty-four fragments to honour the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching, Iron Goddess of Mercy also borrows from haibun, a traditional Japanese form of travel writing in which each diary entry closes with a haiku. The poem dizzies, turns on itself. It rants, it curses, it writes love letters, but as the Iron Goddess is ever changing, so is the object of her address: a maenad, Kool-Aid, Chiang Kai-shek, the economy, a clown, freedom of speech, a brother, a bother, a typist, a monster, a machine, Iris Chang, Hannah Arendt, the Greek warrior Achilles, or a deer caught in the headlights. Finally, a balm to the poem's devastating passion and fury, Iron Goddess of Mercy is also a type of oolong tea, a most fragrant infusion said to have been a gift from the compassionate bodhisattva Guan Yin. Summoning the ghosts of history and politics, Iron Goddess of Mercy explores the complexities of identity through the lens of rage and empowerment."-- Provided by publisher.
Additional Formats
Issued also in electronic format.
Other Form:
Online version: Lai, Larissa. Iron goddess of mercy. Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, 2021 1551528452 9781551528458 (OCoLC)1191225081
Research Call Number
JFD 21-2465
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