BY SOPHIA DAHLIN
Sophia Dahlin’s Natch from City Lights won’t come out until this Fall, the 1st of September to be more precise. Because I am blurbing her work, I am very fortunate to have the first glance, the first sampling of many first samplings. Her mutant language has repetition, but not in the way you might imagine it—more like repetition that stands outside itself, watching itself transform into a familiar word that isn’t at all familiar. For instance, “my yawn” says the sofa, “a symptom of my night, my night a symptom.” The speaker here, obviously, is Sophia the sofa. With a slight semantic switch of the hand, she flips words on their backs and bestows on “night” and “symptom” a particular paradoxical vocal cord that expands the noetic intimacy of such words without creating unnecessary havoc on the page. (Even some of her titles give you a fresh start on language, for example: “My Heart Buoys When I Buhold.” )
Since meeting her in Providence in 2013, over a massively river-sought friendship, I have always felt at home in Sophie’s work. She is in herself a “sofa”, as she writes so mischievously, “my name means sofa in three languages and I am yours (which) I wait for you, stuffed into posture.” Once you recline in her, you will feel comfortable immediately. So please mark this book on your calendar for a much-anticipated nuptial want: to purchase, to hold, to cherish. This is her debut collection and one with a valiant, experimental force that not only showcases the coded, playful, witty drive of her imagination, but also how sensually intelligent, erotic, and stratifying it is.