Thursday, September 13, 2012

"And what were they anyway, sprigs of grass, things of blue?"

I have been interested in whatever poet Mary Ruefle might have to say ever since I discovered her book A Little White Shadow,  a poetry collection that was the facsimile of a small novel that she herself found in a thrift store and with the aid of white-out, used to reveal small, beautiful, and disquieting poems. Now from Wave Books we have her collected lectures, Madness, Rack, and Honey, a book I've dropped everything else for.  You can find more of her erasure works on her website, and I bet you'll want to rush out and find the perfect book that you can use to simultaneously obscure and uncover.  It is in the corner of the junk shop, it lives at the bottom of a box at the next garage sale you see.

Here she speaks in the lecture "Someone Reading a Book is a Sign of Order in the World."

There is a world that poets cannot seem to enter. It is the world everybody else lives in. And the only thing poets seem to have in common is their yearning to enter this world.

Her lecture "I Remember, I Remember" is the best homage and
riff on Joe Brainard's I Remember that I can remember:

I remember reading Rilke's Duine Elegies again and again and again, until I "got" them, until something burst over me like a flood, and I remember, once again, weeping and weeping with a book in my hands.

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