Poetry at its best makes you reflect upon yourself as much, or more, as on the poet. Andrés N. Ordorica’s debut collection does just that.
The central theme is about belonging and many of the different ways that idea manifests itself. The judicious structure leads to potentially multiple readings. There is a linear narrative, from the poet’s earliest memories to the recent past, as well as looking towards the future, but sections are also themed with reference to ‘growing’, ‘losing’, ‘giving’, and ‘loving’. It is the last of these which bursts from At Least This I Know.
The poems are honest and open, often confronting painful and even traumatic experiences, but there is a joy of life that accompanies even these. The opening poem ‘November 16th, 2014’, works as the perfect introduction as ‘Andrés’ has to answer a number of questions to be allowed through immigration. The poem is at turns angry, funny, thoughtful, and smart – terms which can be applied to the collection as a whole. There is more than a hint of Edwin Morgan on display, so it’s only a slight surprise to read ‘fresas’, which is inspired by Morgan’s poem ‘Strawberries’.
With At Least This I Know, Andrés N. Ordorica’s offers a poetry collection which is sensual, sensitive, witty, and warm, and which makes you understand the world, and yourself, a little better.