Metropolitan Tang is Cambridge poet Linda Bamber’s first book of poetry, a debut that is erudite and sassy, urban and urbane. Whether she is examining the breakup of her marriage or watching bulls in a field, considering Derrida’s concepts of “presence” or her hairdresser’s less theoretical philosophy, Bamber receives stimuli as indiscriminately as an antenna, all eyes and ears; then her sharp and curious mind gets to work, turning over images and ideas until she finds their proper relations, making meaning out of random juxtapositions, sense out of chaos, or, if nothing else, a good joke out of a bad situation. Most first books of poetry are tentative experiments in voice; Bamber’s voice, sensitive and, at the same time, wry, is clear throughout, uniquely hers and eminently likeable.
Praise for Metropolitan Tang
As a reader I have often wished, over the years, for a female poet in the style of [Frank] O’Hara: bopping but sincere, Humanistic and grounded but exuberant and irreverent. Linda Bamber may be that person.