In ""The Scarlet Ibis"", Susan Hahn has created an intricately structured sequence of interlinked poems centered around the single compelling image of the ibis. The resonance of this image grows through each section of the book as Hahn skillfully employs theme and variation, counterpoint and mirroring techniques. The ibis first appears as part of an illusion, the disappearing object in a magician's trick, which then evokes the greatest disappearing act of all - death - where there are no tricks to bring about a reappearance. The rich complexity multiplies as the second section focuses on a disappearing lady and a dramatic final section brings together the bird and the lady in their common plight - both caged by their mortality, their assigned time and role. All of the illusions fall away during this brilliant denouement as the two voices share a dialogue on the power of metaphor as the very essence of poetry. Bird Trick iv It's all about disappearance. About a bird in a cage with a mirror, a simple twist on the handle at the side that makes it come and go at the magician's insistence. It's all about innocence. It's all about acceptance. It's all about compliance. It's all about deference. It's all about silence. It's all about disappearance.
Susan Hahn is a poet, playwright, and the editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She is the author of six books of poetry and the recipient of many awards for her poems, including a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Chicago Tribune named her fourth book, Holiday (Chicago, 2001), and her fifth book, Mother in Summer (Northwestern, 2002), among the Best Books of 2002. Her first play, Golf, was produced in 2005 by Circle Theater in Forest Park, Illinois.