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Anne Carson Overview

born: 1950
born in: Canada
lives in: United States
Anne Carson is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator, and a professor of Classics and comparative literature at the University of Michigan. Carson lived in Montreal for several years and taught at McGill University. She is reticent about her private life; the... [more]

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Poetry Lab: Sappho in Fragments Brooklyn, New York, United States
24 Aug - 24 Aug
Cabinet Magazine / details

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KristianN says:
“There was a great performance at the NYU performing arts center called Stacks + Bracko, with a poem read by Anne. ”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Anne Carson

EXCERPT II. BUT A DEDICATION IS ONLY FELICITOUS IF PERFORMED BEFORE WITNESSES--IT IS AN ESSENTIALLY PUBLIC SURRENDER LIKE THAT OF STANDARDS OF BATTLE You know I was married years ago and when he left my husband took my notebooks. Wirebound notebooks. You know that cool sly verb write. He liked writing, disliked having to start each thought himself. Used my starts to various ends, for example in a pocket I found a letter he'd begun (to his mistress at that time) containing a phrase I had copied from Homer: 'entropalizomenh is how Homer says Andromache went after she parted from Hektor--"often turning to look back" she went down from Troy's tower and through stone streets to her loyal husband's house and there with her women raised a lament for a living man in his own halls. Loyal to nothing my husband. So why did I love him from early girlhood to late middle age and the divorce decree came in the mail? Beauty. No great secret. Not ashamed to say I loved him for his beauty. As I would again if he came near. Beauty convinces. You know beauty makes sex possible. Beauty makes sex sex. You if anyone grasp this--hush, let's pass to natural situations. Other species, which are not poisonous, often have colorations and patterns similar to poisonous species. This imitation of a poisonous by a nonpoisonous species is called mimicry. My husband was no mimic. You will mention of course the war games. I complained to you often enough when they were here all night with the boards spread out and rugs and little lamps and cigarettes like Napoleon's tent I suppose, who could sleep? All in all my husband was a man who knew more about the Battle of Borodino than he did about his own wife's body, much more! Tensions poured up the walls and along the ceiling, sometimes they played Friday night till Monday morning straight through, he and his pale wrathful friends. They sweated badly. They ate meats of the countries in play. Jealousy formed no small part of my relationship to the Battle of Borodino. I hate it. Do you. Why play all night. The time is real. It's a game. It's a real game. Is that a quote. Come here. No. I need to touch you. No. Yes. That night we made love "the real way" which we had not yet attempted although married six months. Big mystery. No one knew where to put their leg and to this day I'm not sure we got it right. He seemed happy. You're like Venice he said beautifully. Early next day I wrote a short talk ("On Defloration") which he stole and had published in a small quarterly magazine. Overall this was a characteristic interaction between us. Or should I say ideal. Neither of us had ever seen Venice.
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