Reimagining the English language from the point of view of Persian and other languages that Gould has translated from, Beautiful English defamiliarizes familiar poetic forms in order to move away from the notion of one correct English. The poems turn to the cultures and histories of Iran, Palestine, Syria, Chechnya, and Armenia to grapple with new ways of defining the self through language and in its encounter with others. Poems from this collection have appeared in Oxford Poetry, Poetry New Zealand, and Another Chicago Magazine. Read more about Gould and her work at https://rrgould.hcommons.org/poetry . She can be found on Twitter and Medium @rrgould.
“These beautifully articulated pieces come to me as elegies, their sustained poignance pronounced in a language that transcends the very walls around which they seemed to have been crafted… [The poems are] hung up like frescoes made from stolen limestone in the manner of Palestinian workers waiting out the dawn so they could build to perpetuate their own occupation. The language employed in the poems is the language of longing that follows different patterns in breaking lines. I was touched by how much the narrator sees as well as by how much is held back.”

— Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag, author of Bloodlines (2006) and Could You Please, Please Stop Singing? (2016)

“In these scrupulously observed yet passionate poems, Rebecca Ruth Gould demonstrates how love—self-possessed and stubborn—transcends the bounds of language, culture and state repression. Gould is a real poet and a real find. Cogent and memorable, her poems have a rare power to move the reader.”

— David Cooke, The High Window

“Rebecca Ruth Gould’s poems have the power to penetrate that ‘veil’ which separates the physical from the spiritual. Their words transcend the reader spiritually into ecstatic realms of reality. They bestow brief glimpses through that ever-frustrating ‘veil’ of physicality which binds us to our lower natures and earthly limitations.”

–Michael Hathaway, Chiron Review