Most American poetry tends to keep it’s feet squarely planted on the here-and-now ground. Not a lot of “leaping,” to put it in Robert Bly’s terms: an artistic leap that bridges the gap between conscious and unconscious thought. Namely, the basis of surrealist imagery.
Danielle Hanson uses such imagery in a wonderfully creative way. One is always surprised when reading her poems. She does not simply follow the logic of a story, as is the case with so much of American poetry. Hanson uses imagery to push beyond a simple story line and into a curious and imaginative realm — offering the reader “new paths of association,” as Bly puts it.
For instance, from “Love Song”
You touch is the door that opens everything,
a door to a constantly shifting sea.
The river is wearing galoshes.
I’ve been learning a lost language
by listening to your thoughts.
But when I look for my lips, I must look to your mouth.
Or from “Free Radicals”:
Everything is wearing down slowly in the rain.
Everything is being misplaced —
the yard is in the house,
the clouds are sinking into the ground,
Fraying at the Edge of Sky, Danielle Hanson, Codhill Press, 2018.