Where the Apple Falls
Where the Apple Falls
“Samiya Bashir writes bravely and beautifully from the inside out. We are fortunate to have her blazing, graceful poems in this fine first collection.”
Where the Apple Fallsresides at the intersections between woman/ female, both human and environmental, and the concepts to which she is often linked(without her consent): death; rebirth; victim; sexual/perverse. Seasons are crucial: from the birth of Spring through Autumn’s final harvest the work suggests a recasting of the farmer; a reclamation of both fall and redemption/ death/ (re)birth on her own terms.
RedBone Press, 2005
Pub. Date: June 2005
Cover art: Ruth McFarlane
Cover design: Eunice Corbin
Praise for Where the Apple Falls
“In her debut collection Where the Apple Falls, Samiya Bashir demands we listen and hear the symphony of stories that ‘sail on the ochre cushion of these moonlit poems.’ In ‘Moon Cycling,’ she writes: ‘Don’t come by my door/ Smellin’ fresh like that/ Sizzling like summer/ Steak medium rare/ I’ll think you are/ My supper.’ But she opens the door and her words and images grab us and never let go. She challenges ideas of edginess, religion, beauty, sexuality and imagination. Bashir’s language is vivid and compelling in lines like ‘Crooked back bowed into the new black moon.’ There’s remarkable womanness, vulnerability, pain and insight in these lines… Where the Apple Falls can at times be a difficult read, as many poems are dense and complex. But here is a new and provocative voice comfortable in the skin of her poems, secure in her poetic vision.
—Black Issues Book Review
Bashir’s first book of poems is a moving blend of personal narrative and lyric grace. Poems that deal with the legacy of slavery are haunting, such as the intimacy and danger in “Floating Down the Delaware”: “Black skin rots cerulean blue. The/ two bodies were found on Thursday/ night. No wonder I can’t keep track/ of time.” Bashir’s finely crafted lines touch on migration, faith, urban life and the lives of women, never letting their reach slacken.
[E]xpand[s] the range of questions American poetry can and should ask. Bashir zooms in on exquisite details—from childhood rituals to her lover’s lips—then her topics explode outward as she grapples with war, violence against women, and the legacy of slavery. A tendency to make lists sometimes dilutes Bashir’s voice, but overall, her writing is precise with rage, intelligence, and tenderness shimmering through.”
There is no denying Bashir’s talent. Confidence shines through her poetry like a beacon, and there is a smartness to her writing that puts all on notice that this is the start of a long career, that she will not be silenced, and that she has a lot to say.
—Page & Author
Of all the poems in Where the Apple Falls, not a one is overwrought, pretentious or half-stepping. Each is stunning, smart and real. To read this book is to eat an extraordinary fruit, licking its juices all the way.