Anne Carson Glass Essay Review

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.

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Hermes is a mysterious man in a silver tuxedo who shows up every now and then to guide them. It’s a format that counterintuitively speeds you down the page, as if creating a chute for language.

Io — the nymph turned into a cow by Zeus, then maddened by Hera’s gadfly — is the loveliest member of G’s herd, a sexy musk ox: Carson has, over the years, moved closer to bizarreness for the sake of bizarreness — but she still pulls it off, mainly because the impulse behind it is mischief. It also constricts in ways that put useful pressure on the poems’ wild music and wilder state of mind.

This is hardly unusual in poetry — but this is book-length narrative, however zigzaggy.

It’s not always easy to care about these characters; detailed as they are, they remain types around whom description and metaphor are formed. Serious poetry readers like to be put off balance, feel their stomachs drop.

This collection includes: "The Glass Essay", a powerful poem about the end of a love affair, told in the context of Carson's reading of the Bronte sisters; "Book of Isaiah", a poem evoking the deeply primitive feel of ancient Judaism; and "The Fall of Rome", about her trip to "find" Rome and her struggle to overcome feelings of a terrible alienation there.

Anne Carson has a history of doing unpredictable and genre-crossing things.Carson remains a master of idiosyncratic figures, delivering metaphor and simile casually and suddenly, while keeping her language idiomatically oddball.Metaphors slide out of clipped fragments, torque themselves from sentences pell-mell and complex.Many toil in the interstices of genre; Carson’s palatable, popular, sophisticated and who-cares approach may have done the most and best work in the last two decades to stop people worrying so much about what’s poetry and what’s not. At her less-than-best she’s reliably ingenious, full of charisma and surprise.Lesser poets who behave more predictably and risk less are easier to praise — and not as important. Last year she published “Antigonick,” a handwritten, illustrated retelling of the Sophocles classic.No metaphor, when G recounts a TV nature show — but what imagery: To read Carson is continually to be disoriented and reoriented, grabbed and dropped.It is not always to be moving forward, despite the velocity of individual pieces.But wonderously, I’ve just discovered you can read the whole thing online at the Poetry Foundation. My mother’s kitchen is dark and small but out the windowthere is the moor, paralyzed with ice. It extends as far as the eye can seeover flat miles to a solid unlit white sky. The kitchen wall clock emits a ragged low buzz that jumpsonce a minute over the twelve. 216 propped open on the sugarbowlbut am covertly watching my mother. G and Sad take a road trip, ending up at a strange clinic in an icy northland.A handful of other characters derive — nominally — from Greek mythology. She’s having fun.” are delivered in narrow strips of type, justified at both margins like newspaper columns.


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