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The Emma Press


The Goldfish

The Goldfish


The Goldfish is a collection of poems by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul. With illustrations by Emma Dai’an Wright.

“I enter the white cave filled with white roses and white candles. I think I am alone, lost in this cave of madness. I continue to walk to the vulva space. A space of pleasure, says the whispering voice (I don’t know where it comes from). Look for the crown. I step forward, I turn to the left, then turn to the right, I jump three times and bow my head. I look around and see my shadow shaped in pink. ”

Page count: 36

Publication date: 26th October 2019

Paperback ISBN: 9781912915200

GTIN: N/A SKU: 9781912915200 Categories: , , Tags: ,

Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul

Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul is an Indonesian poet currently based in Japan. Her debut pamphlet, Ikhda by Ikhda, was published by the Emma Press in 2014. Her poems have been published in The Emma Press Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse and The Emma Press Anthology of Motherhood.


The Goldfish is a sumptuous, surreal exploration of femininity. The poet inhabits the voice of a goldfish through a series of linguistically experimental poems which plunge us into the glass bowl and invite us to gaze out.

The poems are in turn sensual, spiky, and queasy, as the poet satirizes the patriarchy and issues a rallying cry for women broken down by society. Halfway through the book, the scope opens out to the world beyond the goldfish bowl, via the story of a free spirit passing through customs, a paean “to our white husbands”, and a letter which heals old wounds.

‘This pamphlet sings with sound.’ – Sphinx 

‘Ayuning Maharsi Degoul’s explorations play with the “inhuman” qualities of the fish but also evoke the realistic condition of a woman being constricted because of her limited environment. Her anger and disillusionment are expressed in continuous provocations that envisage sheer rebellion and suggest alternatives.’ – Carla Scarano D’Antonio, Tears in the Fence

Watch Ikhda perform poems from her Emma Press publications:

Additional information

Dimensions 20 × 20 cm

Print, eBook

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