“I learned that poems may be deliberate and arbitrary at the same time.”—an essay by Julie Marie Wade
We scroll pages
as if scanning thickets
By Jack Chelgren | Special Projects Intern and Contributing Writer As a word is mostly connotation, matter is mostly aura? Halo? (The same loneliness that separates me from what I call “the world.”) — Rae Armantrout, “A Resemblance” I. It’s afternoon not long ago. I’m listening to music in my apartment, and “The Last Time I Saw Richard,” the closer from Joni Mitchell’s Blue, comes on. The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in ’68 And he told me, “All romantics meet the same fate someday: Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark café.”
By Scott Condon | Contributing Writer The title of Rae Armantrout’s poem “Thrown” immediately brings to mind philosopher Martin Heidegger’s notion that human life is thrown into the world. This concept plays a key role in his book Being and Time, and I’ll return to Heidegger a little later. But I’d like to begin by looking at the poem through the lens of James Longenbach’s essay “Poetry Thinking,” focusing in particular on a couple of passages that address the way Shakespeare’s characters speak their thoughts.