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Ways of…

Last week, I blogged a bit about AWP and included some quotations that were important to me on certain panels. Today I was delighted to discover that The Rumpus has collected and published in full the essays presented by David Biespiel, Rigoberto González, Lia Purpura, and Wendy Willis during the Fate of the Writer: Shuttling between Solitude and Engagement panel. Huge thanks to The Rumpus for this.

After you’ve read the above, and while you’re perhaps still thinking about this alternative Lia Purport offers on Auden’s line “poetry makes nothing happen” from his poem “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”:

 Or, consider another angle, too: the statement as a flat out rejection, a resistance—poetry indeed makes nothing “happen”—you can hear the statement as a kind of refutation of utility. A refusal to perform a useful function. It’s not about “happening” or making things happen. As the poem continues, “it survives/ in the valley of its saying… it survives (he says it twice) “A way of happening, a mouth.” There it is again: poetry’s a WAY. A way of being. A state. Not an end.

read then Natalie Diaz’s new poem “Grief Work” up today at Poets.org. A longer post about this gorgeous poem will be up soon.

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2 thoughts on “Ways of…

  1. Thanks for sharing the link and your insight! I like Lia’s read of the Auden line, which I feel often gets misrepresented. Derek Walcott in an interview says a similar thing, but I love Purport’s emphasis on “a way,” not an end. Thanks!

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