Read Body Clock by Eleni Sikelianos Online


Lauded by Michael Ondaatje as an “unforgettable” writer and praised by The Washington Post for her ability to capture “the subtlest shades of the emotional palette,” Eleni Sikelianos now charts the curvature of growth and time, encompassing the bewilderment and delight of a new parent, while mapping the shape of our troubled world. Observing that “what is alive in the bodyLauded by Michael Ondaatje as an “unforgettable” writer and praised by The Washington Post for her ability to capture “the subtlest shades of the emotional palette,” Eleni Sikelianos now charts the curvature of growth and time, encompassing the bewilderment and delight of a new parent, while mapping the shape of our troubled world. Observing that “what is alive in the body clock is also ticking,” her poems and sketches illustrate the infinite possibilities unfurling as minutes give shape to hours, the body gives shape to a child, and events give shape to history.A California native, longtime New Yorker, and world traveler, Eleni Sikelianos lives in Boulder and teaches at Denver University....

Title : Body Clock
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781566892193
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 150 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Body Clock Reviews

  • Natalie Villacorta
    2019-01-05 18:02

    This book took me a long time to read. The first time I was reading it, I felt so disconnected from the words—I didn’t understand how one image or idea moved to the next. The poems seemed so random, the transitions so jarring. I wanted some sort of unifying narrative, some way to follow along. Sikelianos began introducing drawings she had made, which helped some. Visualizing “time” is a cool idea. Even as subjects were repeated—the body, mothers and babies, time—I struggled to determine what Sikelianos was “saying.” So I started to read the poems out loud, which greatly helped. The sounds in the poems helped me understand the abrupt lines breaks, spacing, repetition: “she calls I/ answer swer a swerve a/ brush of air I swear a scarf/ a scarving her answer/ answer me”(108). And of course, the scientific language kept me moving forward. Every time I found a word like “quantum” or “placenta” or “hemoglobin” it was a little treat. I admired the way that Sikelianos was able to bring in scientific words, without making them distracting or changing the tone. I have a tendency to put in too many terms that people aren’t familiar with, which separates the reader from the poem. But, Sikelianos puts in just enough, usually in the form of adjectives, to create a unique tone without overloading the poetry. Almost every line was a different image or idea, which made it hard for me to follow along. I usually prefer a more narrative-style of poetry, or at least a more associative one, where ideas flow into the next. But reading got easier once I got to “The Body Clock.” I knew that the book was written during/about Sikelianos’ pregnancy, and I had been waiting for this theme to become the central focus—before there had only been subtle references: “by June we move in perfect symmetry,” an occasional umbilical cord. I wanted more about the baby, and this is what I got. Sikelianos describes the baby: her teeth, her bald head, her shoes—how Sikelianos life has changed: “you were born & now you’ve torn our nights to shreds”(73). With a theme to cling on to, I began to connect with the text better, understanding Sikelianos' journey to capture time: “sometimes we feel the hour in which hydrogen sticks to oxygen, her its suction and situation, know surface tension at the top of the minute’s bubble”(74). The more poems I read out loud, the more I embraced the frequent line breaks, they seemed less jarring, large spaces between words within one line, and random subject changes seemed less sudden. I think Sikelianos poetry definitely takes a couple reads—it’s not easy to dive into or immediately relate to. It requires time to appreciate the sounds and to understand how her poems move from start to finish. In order for me to enjoy the poems, I had to accept that they weren’t about one idea, one story or event, I had to let go of my ideas about what a poem should be and let myself be moved by the words. I had to stop looking for patterns, consistency of tense, and point of view. Only then, did I start to feel like I was “getting” it. One of my favorite moments: “I’d like to pirate myself out perform surgery/on a town — lift off the roofs, stitch them back, rearranging/ streets, arteries, veins”(91). I also really enjoyed the poem-drawings she included. It was really cool to see her editing process—how the words from the drawing left a residue on the page. The poetry-drawings were usually related to the content of the poem—a feather, seeds and stars, chromosomes. My favorite image was the “third experience with an hour” in which she took a diagram of chromosomes from a biology textbook and turned them into the legs of people, underneath scribbling ideas about how gens translate into names, faces, body parts, and disease.This book really challenged me to expand my ideas about poetry—its content and form—and provided a great example for how to incorporate science into poetry without overdoing it. It contains a lot of beautiful, distilled moments, sincere attempts to understand the ineffable—time, the body as a clock. As difficult as it was for me to initially connect with it, I now feel that “The Body Clock” has given me a lot of ideas about how to move forward with my own work.

  • Elevate Difference
    2019-01-05 15:01

    Sometimes, the book chooses the reader. For me, Eleni Sikelianos’ book of poetry Body Clock falls in to this category. A large and varied collection of poems about the nature of time, presence, and inner life—both literal and figurative—combine with reflections on creative potential and destructive capacity, the authors’ free verse and imagery evoke dreamscapes which are elemental, or perhaps universal, shared in our collective unconsciousness. Many of the author’s poems reframe images of ordinary life through linking commonplace observations to more profound events, such as in the following poem:Contenant et Contenu(This was on a bottle of shampoo.)The water evaporates from the glass,the child outgrows her shoes, the wooderodes, the paint chips, the painting fades,the leg breaks, the warexplodes.What is the body’s container?From soldiers we learn about each other.Nothing is contained.Impressive for their sheer breadth in tone and subject, Sikelianos’ poems were a welcome escape from the literal for this reviewer. Using the intersection between her self and the environment surrounding her as her muse, the author both reflects on and experiments with the experience of time in poems and "poem-drawings”, in addition to exploring the creation occurring within her body and the world actively being created around her. Many of her poems seem to draw upon a very present contemplation of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood in all of their abstract and concrete realities, while capturing the perspectives of an individual tethered to the reality that, as creative beings, our humanity simultaneously renders us both infinite and finite.At times both humorous and bitter, this collection functions as a letter to her progeny and a journal of the time, measured in days, events, hours, trimesters, and minutes spent in her pregnant and forever altered body, looking inward and out, summarized best in the surprisingly sweet poem “About Being Dead”: "You wouldn’t know, biscuit-hand/you’re so alive."Review by Ruth Cameron

  • Joe
    2019-01-09 16:01

    I was told 'You might like this book." That might be right.Sikelianos is able to create a somewhat dialectical relationship between time and body. Yet while these two things remain the focus she is also able to zoom in and out; this book contains the molecular and the century as topics of inquiry. "Did any hundred years lie down and did weLie down quietly in sunlight DidAny century leap windbreaks in silenceLike a lunged dog-devilDid any century not crushNot crash not gnash and creakNot gnarl did any centuryNot devour not mountain notMan not amused not woman nor river nor childthicket nor armNo century was ever an asylumIt was never a valley never A long deep sleep"

  • Sebastian
    2019-01-20 17:20

    The associative nature of these poems has the potential to scare the reader - afraid I won't understand, afraid the poetry doesn't actually mean anything - but Sikelianos leads the reader through the barbs, boils the language down to brilliant, beautiful text."why is midnight the hollow crux,resting on a V - apex, ilexwhy I saw it sickness unfoldingempty as an egg (cascarone)a volcano pointing down& up - midnight points tooback through the hours of the night &forward to the hours of the dayMidnight is a cunt that way"from "Doubleblind (Body Clock)"

  • Blueberry
    2019-01-04 13:06

    this book inspired me to do my own time experiments with writing. she draws little round pictures of minutes. and, I love the idea of a cosmic baby book (that's what c.d. writght calls this book on back cover. there's a feeling of epic & of new ground being broken--

  • Caroline
    2018-12-23 17:19

    I said "oh wow" out loud to no one after to reading this one--A RADIUS COUNTESS OF WHAT'S ITI love itwhen women eat sweet ribbon, sweet rabbit, sweet meat, when womenare the scene of several utopiaswhen the body melts back into shadowbeginning with the feet

  • James Grinwis
    2019-01-16 10:00


  • Aran
    2019-01-01 18:21

    Not my jam. Didn't finish.

  • Paul
    2019-01-17 15:06

    Why is your elbow an hour? Eva Grace already the poet. I, too, know that crabapples are delicious (bleh).Another treasure from Mrs. Eleni.

  • Kristin
    2018-12-30 15:06

    Best book of poetry I have read in months! This is a book to savor.

  • Julia
    2019-01-19 18:01

    Laser-precise and lush at the same time. Like clock, body.

  • Renee
    2019-01-22 16:11

    I love Eleni's mind; it's sharp yet hip and her poetry is always unexpected.