Ranging from satire to meditation to philosophy to the comic, Clara Joseph's second book of poetry, Dandelions for Bhabha, is an intense engagement with philosophers and literary/cultural theorists and their controversial positions. Her poems reflect on the postmodern condition when "The screaming begins at the wall / when one chick is taken" and "Universal Justice is dragged / to Auschwitz." The collection, divided into three sections, Descartes's Lover, Jus' Thinkin', and To Talisman, engages with ethics and with thinkers such as Roland Barthes, Jeremy Bentham, Homi K. Bhabha, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Mahatma Gandhi, Stephen Greenblatt, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Gayatri Spivak. The poems in Dandelions for Bhabha are, as the title hints, enchanting and unexpected opportunities to philosophize art and aestheticize thought. Narratives of miracles, reflections on visuals, and dialogues of the dead enter the hopes, joys, and wonders of daily living. Joseph's skill is to narrow the gap between the creative and the critical, and to provoke.
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