Ways of Counting
- Author(s): Yan, Justine Jiayun Li
- Advisor(s): Gerstler, Amy
- et al.
Many of these poems are concerned with counting. Most take place between California and China. The collection takes on counting as an action that can prolong or clarify, reduce or obfuscate—it doesn’t have an apparent end. For the speaker, it may become a way of living through, with, and without. The poems also document a process of investigating the tensions between romantic love and filial love, motion and stasis. They have allowed the poet to gather evidence, to begin again and again, attempting to construct new knowledge out of old feelings and thoughts. In the temporality and logic of these poems, nothing passes, but is only gathered. Nothing is lost that cannot be retrieved.