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Reviews

Metaphysical Dictionary
This sly, whimsical debut collection by Toronto poet Svetlana Lilova is not much more than pocket-sized, but its poetic reach is expansive..
Barb Carey
,
Toronto Star

This sly, whimsical debut collection by Toronto poet Svetlana Lilova is not much more than pocket-sized, but its poetic reach is expansive. Lilova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and arrived in Canada without knowing any English, so having a dictionary on hand was essential. Metaphysical Dictionary is an idiosyncratic version of that survival tool. (It’s idiosyncratic even in form: the alphabetical entries are from A to Y.) In an interview with the literary magazine Canthius, Lilova explained that she chose terms that “possess personal emotional valence and associations.” At their best, these epigrammatic gems resonate profoundly. Throughout, there’s the sense of the poet trying to drill down to the essence of feelings and motives. Anger, for instance, is defined as “a scab/some of us sometimes peel/off the raw hurt.” Elsewhere, Lilova captures the paradoxical truth of “emptiness” as “the heaviest of feelings” and “stories” as “multipliers of our experience.”
Metaphysical Dictionary
A series of beautiful short poems and abstract sentences... Mesmerizing.
Dannii
,
Goodreads

[Metaphysical Dictionary] is set out in a typical dictionary format ... A series of beautiful short poems and abstract sentences relating to each word. The concept of this book is so unique and the end product, in both the physical and written sense, is just mesmerizing.

Metaphysical Dictionary
A veritable artist of consciousness
Pavel Somov
,
Amazon

This metaphysical dictionary would have driven Wittgenstein out of his formalistic mind, which is why I love this daring collection. Lilova is a veritable artist of consciousness - her poems are laconic Pollack drips of connotational calligraphy - true impressionism. Sober and surreal at once.

Metaphysical Dictionary
Profound, whimsical and wise
Marilyn Herie
,
Educateria

Metaphysical Dictionary by Svetlana Lilova is profound, whimsical and wise, delightfully illustrated by Graham Falk. At her recent book launch at Centennial College, the author described how, newly-arrived in Canada and never having heard spoken English, she traversed the city with a dictionary in hand. Fast-forward many years, and Lilova offers us a compass, a roadmap, a mirror and a prism through which we can distill our lived experience and inner selves in this small, elegant volume.