A Butterfly's Trembling in the Digital Age is the first full poetry collection from Eleni Cay, a poet born in Martin, northern Slovakia, and currently resident in the UK. The book speaks to the poet's own (young) generation about how technology affords new ways of expressing love, while nostalgically evoking times before Facebook and selfies. However, nature-versus-technology is not the primary theme here. In fact, most poems focus on how human beings are entangled with technology, and on how they jointly influence all aspects of being in the 21st century.
The butterfly, a symbol of change and fragility, sounds a note of caution about using technology to reinvent love and quintessentially human values. To find the ways in which love can survive in a high tech world, one might need to look again at nature and its laws. The poet tries to catch those subtle harmonies that are often missed when 'human' and 'technological' are counterposed too exclusively, as Either/Or.
There are 55 poems in the collection, written in a variety of metrical and stanzaic forms, but mostly in common metre, analogous to sung music. The poems are accessible on a first read, with layers that invite a re-reading and re-thinking of what it means to be loved in the digital age.
Eleni Cay is a Slovakian-born poet living in Manchester, UK. Her poems were published in two pamphlets - Colours of the Swan and Autumn Dedications - and featured in MK Calling 2013 & 2015, anthologies (e.g. Mother's Milk); poetry magazines (e.g. Envoi, Atticus Review) and as the 'best poetry videos on the web' (Moving Poems). Eleni is currently studying the MA Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Several of her poems have been re-imagined as poetryfilms, dancepoems or multimedia poems, shared widely on social media networks. She has performed her poems in bookshops, at local schools and poetry events in Slovakia, Germany, Austria, USA and England. The breadth of Eleni's work is also reflected in the numerous ekphrastic poems she wrote and exhibited together with visual artists in Milton Keynes and London.
A Butterfly's Trembling in the Digital Age has been translated into English for the first time by John Minahane.