Sunday, 13 July 2008

Marginalia upon reading Daphne Marlatt's The Given

Ease with which her intertexts (a tired word) rise and subside like breath (which gives us the metaphor for the writing and its thin line between life and extinction).

The story in so many fragments it is fragment where everything is.

Every-ready to leap via a letter or a sound to the next idea--that haphazard but always building the poem until more and more comes into play.

Model of longpoem action, that refusal to end, that willingness to embrace the next move in any direction: time, place, form.

Writing to itself. Writing that reads itself.

Remarkable lightness with which these words settle: mother, home, loss, story, body, self, writing--any one of which could sink a page of writing in no time.

Her writing has been this way before.

A poem that ends with the word word. Writing that opens its own past and present, that constantly questions itself. Adjacent fragments speaking to and from each other. Writing that absorbs everything from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth to the "famliar ache and shift" of one body. Writing that asks "where does the perceiving body begin and end?"

What is most given is the past, never distinct from the writing present.

As always, writing that makes you write.

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