Anne Carson The Glass Essay

It’s surprising, uncanny work that is utterly distinct in voice and vision.I do not claim to understand it, exactly, but I love it beyond reason, and I urge you, Toasties, to pursue it.She does not elide her own abject response: she knows this is humiliating, but she also knows that desire This self-awareness, this ability to both create a fully emotionally realized poetic situation and still see it from the outside, is one of Carson’s greatest talents.

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She works most with the parts of life that make no sense and do not help you, only somehow she transforms them into poetry that both fulfills and deranges what you think poems should do.

Her poetry books sometimes have essays in them; her books of classical scholarship sometimes have lyric passages that rival anything filed under “poetry.” is an accordion-folded reproduction of a scrapbook she made as an elegy to her brother; it contains, among other things, a facsimile of a handwritten letter, torn and rearranged into a collage, alongside a translation of Catullus 101.

But that’s what’s so vital about it, to this contemporary reader: she’s not simply concerned with tracking how things I have cast my net rather wide and have mingled evidence from different periods of time and different forms of cultural expression–in a way that reviewers of my work like to dismiss as ethnographic naïveté.

I think there is a place for naïveté in ethnography, at the very least as an irritant., the monster he must defeat. Rather than slaying Geryon, Herakles uses him up: he has a love affair with him and then leaves him.

Behold one of the best poetic sex scenes I’ve ever read (the young lovers have been crushing grapes for wine, stomping with their feet): In my humble poetic opinion, this is fucking wizardry.

If I ever write something so precise, so exactly in tune with the worst codependence people can experience, I can die happy. Now listen, I get that not everyone feels like they get poetry.

I can’t tell you how much this poem means to me, and how many times I’ve come back to it when my life has thrown me into madness.

If you’ve read Leslie Jamison’s book , this is the poem around which she structures some of the life-changingly great essay “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain.” When the speaker recounts the moment that Law broke up with her (“Not enough spin on it, / he said of our five years of love”), she takes all her clothes off and has sex with him.

Much of Carson’s work might be described as fan-fiction of the classics (though I suppose that is also true of much of Western literature).

Her “TV Men” poems imagine mythic heroes and canonical authors as the stars of their own tv shows.


Comments Anne Carson The Glass Essay

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  • Glass, Irony, and God - Anne Carson - Google Books

    Anne Carson's poetry - characterized by various reviewers as "short talks", "essays", or "verse narratives" - combines the confessional and the critical in a voice all her own. Known as a remarkable classicist, Anne Carson in Glass, Irony and God weaves contemporary and ancient poetic strands with stunning style.…

  • Verglas Narrative Technique in Anne Carson's "The Glass.

    Article excerpt. Anne Carson published Glass, Irony, and God in 1995, and although the collection was not showered with prizes like some of her later books its opening poem, "The Glass Essay," has come to define Carson's narrative technique. The place of "The Glass Essay" in the Canadian canon seems secure, having been republished in such standard.…

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    Anne Carson’s thirty-six page poem The Glass Essay, from 1995’s Glass, Irony and God, turns on the most precarious of pivots love lost. Who has not attempted such a poem, only to be repelled by melodrama, self-pity, sentimentality, cliché?…

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