Crisis and Contemporary Poetry by Anne Karhio

By Anne Karhio

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If’ and ‘only’ offer rhetorical pleas for forgiveness, which lead us towards the poem’s first crucial citation of Celan. We approach it, along with the poem’s addressee: ‘You cross the black bridge thus’ (p. 166). But this approach is not simple, however simply it is expressed. ‘The black bridge’ implies a crossing that is also a mourning, a crossing into an underworld (different from but 30 Crisis and Contemporary Poetry implicit in the ‘underworlds’ of the poem) that is also an intertextual and inter-linguistic movement.

2004) Reel (Tarset: Bloodaxe Books). —— (2008) New & Collected Poems (Tarset: Bloodaxe Books). Toll, Nelly (2003) Behind the Secret Window (New York: Puffin Books). 2 Persona, Trauma and Survival in Louise Glück’s Postmodern, Mythic, Twenty-First-Century ‘October’ Mary Kate Azcuy The six-part poem ‘October’ (2002)1 – from Louise Glück’s (2006) collection Averno – begins in autumn, the inception of the dying season. The poem’s speaker traverses between the hybrid persona of Glück and the mythic goddesses Persephone and Demeter and the voices of the individual women.

Metro’ answers this question through involvement of the representation of what it refers to as ‘Brief episodes / of dire intensity’ (p. 161), moments of intense historical crisis re-experienced in their reliving in words. These words follow such a moment of ‘dire intensity’, describing how ‘The waters / Close about my grandfather and fold / Over him in Auschwitz’ (p. 161). Such horrific conjunctions of the personal and the historical mark the poem’s engagement with historical trauma and its ‘episodes’ of ‘intensity’.

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