Tereza Riedlbauchová’s passionate poems explore the thresholds of bodies and the boundaries between the physical world and the imagination. The desire to cross these borders and to merge with another being animates every page of Paris Notebook; these deceptively spontaneous poems evoke moments of physical and emotional intercourse while seamlessly shifting perspective and setting. Grounded in the great cities of Europe, yet universal in their emotional scope, the poems that make up Paris Notebook are central to the work of one of the Czech Republic’s major contemporary poets.
Paris Notebook showcases a dreamy lyricism that nods now and then to the deep dark macabre: ‘I stood on the threshold / below me lay a dead woman / in the shape of the day before.’ Her poems are sensual, too, and open to the body and its beauties and horrors. Part of her lover’s body ‘bridges all the rivers and / halts at the midpoint of all the seas.’ . . . There are whispers of exuberant despair — ‘from now on nothing matters to me’ — and haunting moments of truth — ‘autumn like a swallowing flower.’—Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Globe
“There are deep feelings and struggles contained here, though often expressed with a lightness of touch: existential concerns about how we can relate to other people and places, how we can move through the world . . . Desire thrums through the book; the erotic, but also the desire to experience and understand, and the fear that comes with that. Often the poems’ dream-like state takes us into a symbolic realm, a place suggestive of deeper knowing, playful and painful in turn.”—Modern Poetry in Translation
“ Paris Notebook is not really about Paris, but about a new search for security, peace, and love.”—Ondřej Macura