Discovering the poetry of Anne Carson

Two poetry books of Anne Carson (more here at The Poetry Foundation) have been on table for many months, looking at me. And I finally opened them and I have been thrilled. I was a little intimidated as she is very erudite and also tosses in essays. But it all flows. And if something is a bit much for the moment, I just turn the page. I can return later!

The books are Decreation and Men in the Off Hours.

One of my favorite poems at the moment is below. It is from Men in the Off Hours:

FIRST CHALDAIC ORACLE

There is something you should know.
And the right way to know it
is by cherrying of your mind.

Because if you press your mind towards it
and try to know
that thing

as you know a things,
you will not know it.
It comes out of red

with kills on both sides,
it is scrap, it is nightly,
it kings your mind.

No. Scorch is not the way
to know
that thing you must know.

But use the hum
of your wound
and flamepit out everything

right to the edge
of that thing you should know.
The way to know it

is not by staring hard.
But keep chiselled
keep Praguing the eye

of your soul and reach–
mind empty
towards that thing you should know

until you get it.
That thing you should know.
Because it is out there (orchid) outside your and, it is.

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