An Imperfect Lover
Poems and watercolors by Georgianna Orsini
Introduction by Robert Phillips and Essay by Molly Peacock
- ForeWord Book of the Year Honorable Mention 2005
Orsini has chosen an apt title . . . because the world of any such intense imagination contains much imperfection—imperfect family life, in which affection is withheld; imperfect relationships, imperfect health. Yet creativity has been the vehicle for rescue to a more perfect vision, like the arrival of the great golden ship which is the book’s final picture. Orsini’s talent is the ability to say a profound thing in a very simple way. —Robert Phillips
Unobsessed with line breaks, never in her life having used "workshop" as a verb, creating musical and psychological rhythms in her poetry that allow each image to spin in a vortex of feeling, Orsini composes poems about emotional states that are so palpable they are nearly tactile. Entirely witty and wise as a grown-up companion, she still inhabits that girlhood world of her imagination. —Molly Peacock
Here from a high priestess of “beach plums” and “green corn moons,” from one wholly enamored of the natural world, are vibrant and musical lines that veer from the erotic to the quirkily appealing in poems given with exacting wit and sometimes delectable wickedness. Wry, wise, dry-eyed, full of metaphoric daring, and evoking recollections in her garden of paradox and nuance, Orsini offers a plenitude of joy, but not a scintilla of easy comfort in her art and artifices as she weaves her narrative for us, her ardent admirers. —Colette Inez
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
GEORGIANNA ORSINI attended Wellesley College and Harvard University and received her B.A. degree from Columbia University, during which time she worked as a Program Coordinator at International House. She has lived in Tuscany and New York. Her gardens have been featured in House and Garden, House Beautiful and American Women’s Garden. At present, she lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she continues to make gardens.
At the last moment it rained.
Though underage, we were allowed
to drive the station wagon into the overgrown
pasture. We stopped in the ferny asparagus bed
gone to seed. Rain tap-danced on the roof!
Across the windshield the wipers pulled
the water like curtains on a puppet show,
tucking us in.
Three sisters, we dined formally to start,
unwrapping the wax paper sheets, guided
by their neat hospital corners and folds.
But biting into the pillowy white bread
the mayonnaise oozed, and the lettuce
slipped away like hair tied with silk ribbon.
Next, the tomatoes squished and slid,
spattering our faces, our laps, the seats.
We were silly, then sillier as we pointed out
the boring carrot and celery sticks, the dull
boiled eggs, whose shells we resoundingly
cracked on our heads, laughing hard enough
we had to hold our sides. It hurt.
Chronic competitors, made wary for life
in the arms of parental approval, where else
would we find a checkpoint so lax, waving us
through to someone as close as a sister?