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Cover of Glass Tales

Glass Tales by Marlynn Rosario,
ISBN 978-0-9520090-8-5

Marlynn was born in Burma but lives in the North East; her poems are informed by the awareness of crossing cultures, linguistically and socially. Her style is rich and satisfying.

Suji Halva

Her spitting pan, pitted and marked with use,
a wide, shallow skillet, that transformed
the red-eyed albino soup of school semolina, to festival food.

Renewing wrinkled sultana,
scalding them in melting butter to glistening grapes,
she tanned the air with nutmeg, cinnamon,
teased our teeth with chopped almonds.

Adding a snatch of spice, a cast of sugar,
the graininess of semolina,
she splashed long-necked milk from a reckless height,
mixed and stirred.

Stooled for height, I turned the slope-sided wooden spoon
through heat and balancing, felt thickening and strength.
Cutting cakey diamonds, happily I burnt my fingers.


Marlynn Rosario

Marlynn Rosario

The what of my poems is reflected in the title of this collection Glass Tales. I'm 'telling tales' in every sense of that phrase and these are informed by gender, relationships, memory, and the fact that, although I grew up in England, the first three years of my life were spent in Burma, a country I know only second-hand through family stories, photographs, food and sayings. This cross-cultural tension inhabits my writing. The "glass" in the title refers to the fact that sometimes I magnify the minutiae of my experiences; at others hold a mirror to them, showing an odd angle or a skewed view.

Perhaps "glass" is also appropriate because someone once commented that the word "blind" cropped up frequently in my poetry. I think this is because I'm trying to see and make the reader see things more clearly or even change their vision. It partly answers the why of my writing.

The how is more of a mystery. A writing exercise can move me past memory, beyond that blind place, through imagination to clarity and possibly a poem.

from the introduction to Glass Tales.