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Anne Carson 2005

 

continued

That passage might make you think that Anne Carson's path through her work has been essentially a spiritual journey, but that category, too, fails to fit. It does nothing to explain her work's rigorous intellectual engagement. And it doesn't help us understand the moving personal voice of the poem "Lines," which appears earlier in Decreation. "Lines" begins:

While talking to my mother I neaten things. Spines of books by the phone.
Paperclips
in a china dish. Fragments of eraser that dot the desk. She speaks
longingly
of death. I begin tilting all the paperclips in the other direction.
Out
the window snow is falling straight down in lines. To my mother,
love
of my life, I describe what I had for brunch. The lines are falling
faster
now.


This combination of elements, and a dozen more I haven't mentioned, makes reading Anne Carson one of the most invigorating intellectual, aesthetic, and possibly spiritual experiences contemporary writing offers.

Anne Carson reads from Decreation at Shaman Drum Bookshop on Thursday, November 10.

[Review published November 2005]    (end of article)

 

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