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A site for exploration and discussion about verse, poetics, the aesthetic, and creative writing in general.

Because there is a profound difference between writing something to be read and writing something worth reading; and in that difference might beauty be found.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Three Poems by Anne Carson -- Poetry Daily, 4/2/13

from Red Doc> (Vintage Contemporaries)
poem found here

poetry as exploration of language

— reformatted, with minor edits 4/23/14

OK. I'm a fan of Anne Carson. (Have to be transparent.) I wish I knew Attic Greek so I could see more into her translations. (I have a feeling they are such that Pound would approve. Though, really, I don’t know.)

What I like about Carson is not only her attention to word, sound, and meaning, but also her experimentation. And that in that experimentation she doesn't rest on letting the experimenting itself suffice to give the poem merit: she still pays great attention to word, sound, and meaning. Not always do I think her experiments are successful. (I am not a big fan of The Beauty of the Husband. I think she lost control with it. And, to be blunt, some of her I see printed I think is just bad.) But she is exploring language, which is far more than I can say for most of the works published in the poetry mags.

And, you need not be trying radical and strange things to be "exploring" language. Ciaran Carson, for example, is constantly exploring language. But I wouldn't call "Dresden" (here), or Shamrock Tea (to give a book example) terribly radical. They are attentive. They are attentive to beyond the point that they merit the word "attentive." They are exploring — in different formats — "what can I make out of language." What they are not is telling tales, narrative for the sake of narrative, emotional diaretics. They are, to use Wordsworth's word, texts which were written through some calculation.

Again, far more than most of what gets published today.


Curious— Simply because this is a web page (though, also because of errors previous), I do not trust the layout as presented. Are the title/first-line combinations supposed to change like that? Or did they botch the html? (This is a little more problematic since on my ipad, even though I am using the same browser, the first poem has a definite formatting glitch.) Merely curious, in how there is less faith in the web page than in the written text.

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