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Topic: Tammy Armstrong

Relearning to Look: Year of the Metal Rabbit by Tammy Armstrong

Tammy Armstrong wastes no time in dispelling expectations of nature poetry in Year of the Metal Rabbit. In her the opening poem “We Spent the Summer on Islands,” she signals to readers that this collection will go beyond the call of nature: “We pushed off our boats and stayed awake counting stars / conjuring mythologies of black rabbits and hard chalk castles / weather patterns and qualities of light.” Here, Armstrong signals to her readers that Year of the Metal Rabbit will go beyond the call of nature. Her poems tirelessly traverse domestic and public spaces, and personal and historical narratives, in an endless, hungry search, not for anything specific, but out of a sheer desire to remain aware and present, to keep the first-person “I”—of the speaker and the reader—constantly in flux, because “something childish still / wants to stay in animal time” (“The Varying Hare”).