In the not-too-distant future those to whom it matters may look back at some point in the 1990s, when the networking of the Internet really started to take off, and wonder if at that moment the actual writing of thorough and styled and even personal letters, as a medium of one reflective silence speaking to another reflective silence (roughly Rilke’s definition of poetry), ended.
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc’s “On Leaving Home” appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2007-08 v2.n2. The poem focuses on departures and those who are left behind. According to Le-Blanc, ” I left Chicago at 18 and somehow knew that I would never be back for any length of time. I wanted to capture something—who knows what—about that experience.
For November we feature Eva Heisler’s “Lover’s Manual,” which appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2007-08 v2.n2. The poem is part of a longer series of prose poems entitled “Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic.” According to Heisler, “‘Lover’s Manual’ originated as journal entries written during the first three years of a nine-year period in Iceland. This was a period in which the romance and astonishments of a foreign land were challenged by the difficulties of earning a living as a foreigner. I was constantly faced with just how deeply language shapes perception and, as I struggled to learn Icelandic, the blind spots proliferated.
Christina Pugh’s “Sebald’s Dream Props” appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2007-08 v2.n2. When asked to discuss her poem, Pugh writes, “‘Sebald’s Dream Props’ is part of a manuscript entitled Restoration, which operates according to a particular form of dream logic that does not depend on collage, non-sequitur, or overt surrealism. Because it is based on dream material and is in part mimetic of dreams, this poem’s trajectory (perhaps one-third prayer, one-third inductive reasoning, one-third meditation on the transformative nature of figurative language itself) is not linear, and its visual aesthetic is something akin to pointillist cinematic (itself an impossibility that poetry may perhaps asymptotically achieve).
Stanley Plumly on poets & e-mail: “Need speediness is the enemy of style” Letters from Nobel Laureate Eugenio Montale Love Manual by Eva Heisler David Mason channels Charles Bukowski Rachel Hadas waits for a train Plus: New poems by Oliver Rice, Joanna Klink, Killarney Clary, Richard Kenney, Lucia Perillo, & more