The place of Kora

The 1920 Four Seas Co. edition, left, and the 1957 City Lights edition, right.
The 1920 Four Seas Co. edition, left, and the 1957 City Lights edition, right.

Typically when I teach William Carlos Williams’s sequence of improvisations Kora in Hell, we spend a lot of time on the name in the title: Kora, or Persephone, the mythological figure Williams takes up as a kind of avatar for his own struggle to break free of “the traditionalists of plagiarism” and come up to the surface of the new. As he says in I Wanted to Write a Poem: “I am indebted to Pound for the title. We had talked about Kora, the Greek parallel of Persephone, the legend of Springtime captured and taken to Hades.

Blogging dementia

Susan Schultz: Remembering memory backwards

Susan Schultz

I've read Susan Schultz' Dementia Blog - the ongoing blog project and also a book published under the same title (excerpts from the blog). The blog is the diary of a daughter who cares for her mother as the parent's memory quickly fades, one crisis and change after another, in the usual sad and disorienting progression. But "progression"? Or "regression"? That, in short, is the key question. What is it that we call this human anti-narrativity? How do we describe it? Blogs, written in order, happen to feed to the browser last entry first, and so we read a blog, as it were, from last page to first page. Books conventionally turn this around. The reversal revealed itself to Susan as she wrote. Her primary response (to her mother's changing identity) yields to a secondary response (what is the apt mode for telling others of this) and then the primary/secondary distinction dissolves. To witness is to adjust. The illness becomes the medium.

elective affinities

It's time to check out the poets featured on ElectiveAffinitiesUSA, a blog managed by Carlos Soto-Roman.

megachurches for spring break

When the gospel garage-rock we had so tolerantly been appreciating came to an abrupt end, Lon Solomon's face appeared like the Wizard of Oz on shining silver screens. A shiver ran down my spine and kept running as his dark mouth opened wide around words like "trustworthiness" and "veracity".

security? what security? we don't really mean security

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