The Hearts of Vikings by Lesley Yalen

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Lesley Yalen's debut poetry collection, articulates the ambivalence of our post-Romantic world. In which: our noblest act might be the result of a bad impulse and our best impulse might not amount to much. Heroes are cowards, epics are boring, and history is just a coincidence. The book's raw materials are diverse—a twentieth century immigration story, a creation myth, and the writings of Helen Keller among them. But they are all examined under the same sensitive microscope, which magnifies inner conflict, makes it beautiful. Through Yalen's lens, we are forced to question our own motives, face our individual responsibility to the collective, and own up to the limitations of our (granted, enormous) subjectivity.

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