Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kristin Prevallet

from [I, Afterlife] [Essay in Mourning Time]

The elegiac burden is the poem expressing, through the form it takes on the page, the broken minds which have shaped it. The poem is a state of both mind and landscape, and because it is not mappable, is capable of articulating a person's spatial distance. The poem, scratched out on the surface of the page, scratches then at the surface of the world "outside" of the poem. The success of this is articulating something difficult; perhaps even articulating something so well and so persuasively that readers are inspired to seek clarity in their relationship to loss, disappointment, or fear. The sadness of this is the difficulty of knowing that what the poem knows--or rather how it knows--will probably not change the world. And yet, people die every day from the lack of poetry in faith. In doubting the possibility of a tidy afterlife, I have come to compose a fragmented system of believing. I call this poetry.

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