Saturday, August 26, 2017



"In an interview in the Paris Review, poet Anne Carson describes this way a poem unfolds:

Anne Carson: Some people think that means the poet takes a snapshot of an event and on the page you have a perfect record. But I don't think that's right; I think a poem, when it works, is an action of the mind captured on a page, and the reader, when he engages it, has to enter into that action. His mind repeats that action and travels again through the action, but it is a movement of yourself through a thought, through an activity of thinking, so by the time you get to the end you're different than you were at the beginning and you feel that difference.

Interviewer: So it's an action for both the writer and the reader.

Carson: Yes, exactly, and they share it artificially. The writer did a long time ago but you still feel when you're in it that you're moving with somebody else's mind through an action.

The Paris Review Interview

I find this a brilliant unwrapping of any talk about poetry — first picked up in Matthew Zapruder's equally stunning new book of essays on poetry 
(and much more) 
 (Ecco 2017)