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Drawing of a Swan Before Memory

University of Georgia Press


How do we experience the world before memory, before language, before the senses have separated, or before the concepts of “you” and “I” have been distinguished? Laynie Browne investigates both the limits and potential of such an inchoate world in her new book of poetry, Drawing of a Swan Before Memory.

In a series of elegant prose poems, Browne guides the reader through the intricate development of human perception, where the haunting vastness of childhood slowly gives way to the defining features of adult cognition. Subtly nuanced verse constructs a world of color before sight and utterance before language--all the while aware that, ironically, language itself makes this ethereal world possible.