Monday, January 16, 2006

Domesticating Our Terrors

from the 1971 Kurt Vonnegut intro to Anne Sexton's Transformations:

"I asked a poet friend one time what it was that poets did, and he thought awhile, and then he told me, "They extend the language." I thought that was neat, but it didn't make me grateful in my bones for poets. Language extenders I can take or leave alone.

"Anne Sexton does a deeper favor for me: she domesticates my terror, examines it and describes it, teaches it some tricks which will amuse me, then lets it gallop wild in my forest once more."

In other news: From Eduardo's blog: The National Book Critics Circle Award finalists have been named. A much younger and more diverse list than the National Book Award list. And at least three of these are first books:

Simon Armitage’s The Shout
Blas Manuel de Luna’s Bent to the Earth
Jack Gilbert’s Refusing Heaven
Richard Siken’s Crush
Ron Slate’s The Incentive of the Maggot

Three of these were also favorites of mine: Crush, Bent to the Earth, and The Incentive of the Maggot. But all men? Hmmm . . . I can think of more than a few books by women that deserve to be finalists:

Jane: a murder, Maggie Nelson
Facts About the Moon, Dorrianne Laux
What is this Thing Called Love, Kim Addonizio
Enter Invisible, Catherine Wing
Dog Language, Chase Twichell
The Niagra River, Kay Ryan
Adonis Garage, Rynn Williams
Directed by Desire, June Jordan


C. Dale said...

Wow, we must all be on the same wavelength. I posted the finalists this morning as well. And I also made mention of these three debut poets.

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

I love you for finding that Vonnegut.

Diane K. Martin said...

Re wave lengths: thank you Peter for noticing that there are no women poets on this list. Gee whiz.

In high heels and backwards, folks. Backwards. Still.