Articles

Defacing the monument

Rukeyser's innovations in docupoetics

In 1936, just a year after winning the Yale Younger Poet’s Prize, the twenty-two-year-old Muriel Rukeyser arrived in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, the site of one of the worst industrial disasters in United States history, to work on her next poetry project.

The time-presence prescience of Eleni Sikelianos's Pindar

'Palmier glorieux,' painting by Isabelle Pelissier.

An eloquent and intricate mythmaking propels the fame-seeking in the oh-so-precious collection from the classical world, full and rich in four books, of Victory Odes (sometimes known from the Greek as Epinikia) assigned to the Greek poet Pindar. Coming down to us from the fifth century BCE, this trove of wildly appealing poetry is self-celebrated in Pindar’s own person and, whether or not on cue, has been preserved for the modern reader more substantially than some other exemplars of pre-Hellenistic lyric.

Democracy

View from Montmartre hill, Paris, France. Photo by Bruno Monginoux.

Additional notes on Will Alexander's 'Compound Hibernation'

Erica Hunt sets this reading up by calling Alexander a metaphysician. One of her students said “like Jimi Hendrix.” Hunt says yes and also Aimé Césaire, Jayne Cortez. How are they all metaphysicians? What permutation of Black Magic is this political postmodern grimoire? What is it evoking?

Just before reading my bullet points and notes on Will Alexander’s poem, I read a story, saw a video that speculated on how Mars looked before it lost its atmosphere. There are speculations about how this happened, how it lost its magnetic poles, but it went from earthlike with seas and air and clouds to a rusty tomb, where our small land robots search for evidence of microfossils from billions of years ago. I thought about this kind of sifting from a whole to atomic, from the big bang’s busting to dust.

Trevor Joyce: A bibliography

Editorial note: Trevor Joyce is a contemporary Irish poet whose work attests to the endurance and proliferation of a diversity of modernist traditions in Irish literature.