Sunday, 6 December 2009

Freedom, Revolt, and Love

I have been reading and listening to interviews with the American poet (and this year's winner of The Griffin Poetry Prize) C. D. Wright for an essay that I am writing for my poetics class. C. D. Wright is probably my favourite poet of all time and what has been really interesting about the interviews is discovering what her inspirations are.

She cites as her main influence the poet Frank Stanford: Stanford like Wright was a Southern poet and wrote in an unusual and fresh way. (Sadly he committed suicide just before his 30th birthday) Reading Stanford's poem "Freedom, Revolt, Love" for the first time it was easy for me to see how he influenced Wright - his work very much reminds me of hers. The poem appears to be written as stream of consciousness - one continuous stanza with no breaks except the punctuation which is mostly at the ends of the lines. Stanford's poem reminded me of a Cubist painting - it's as if we are seeing things from several perspectives at once. It is an oddly disturbing poem about some kind of robbery where the two main characters are shot at their breakfast table. But doubly disturbing because of Stanford's unusual style of writing:

"She told him hers didn't hurt much,
Like in the fall when everything you touch
Makes a spark.
He thought about her getting up in the dark
Wrapping a quilt around herself.
And standing in the doorway."

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