Words are substance strange. Speak one and the air ripples into another’s ears. Write one and the eye laps it up. But the sense transmutes, and the spoken word winds through the ear’s labyrinth into a sense that is no longer the nerve’s realm. The written word unfolds behind the eye into the world, world’s image, and the imagination sees as the eye cannot see—thoughtfully.Dan Beachy-Quick, A Brighter Word Than Bright
Jan van Eyck, Altarpiece of the Lamb: The Hermits and the Pilgrims (detail) (via vertigo1871)
“I found myself circling the book. I wanted to say something. Is it immodest to use someone’s loss as a magnifier of my anxieties? Is it selfish to filter my response to death through the prism of Green’s grief?”
Bough Down is the most memorable, harrowing book I read in 2013. Many thanks to the Paris Review for publishing my essay about it.
It seems to me that the desire to make art produces an ongoing experience of longing, a restlessness sometimes, but not inevitably, played out romantically, or sexually. Always there seems something ahead, the next poem or story, visible, at least, apprehensible, but unreachable. To perceive it at all is to be haunted by it; some sound, some tone, becomes a torment – the poem embodying that sound seems to exist somewhere already finished. It’s like a lighthouse, except that, as one swims towards it, it backs away.Louise Glück, Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry (with thanks to Whiskey River)
New Wilderness Letter (1977-1984)
Hannes Möller, Imaginary Libraries (via erikkwakkel)
There is no refugeMatt Rasmussen (via)
Es gibt so viel Poesie, und doch ist nichts seltner als ein Poem.
Friedrich Schlegel, Kritische Fragmente (1797)
"There is so much poetry, and yet there is nothing rarer than a poem."
I read a lot in 2013. I didn’t read even more. Below are some books I wanted or hoped to read this year but didn’t.
Hypothermia, Companion Grasses, A Brighter Word Than Bright, Selected Poems & Prose of Edward Thomas, River of Shadows, Hyperobjects, The Kraus Project, Double Negative, Human Space, The Black Lake, The Silent Crossing, Permission, How Forests Think, Black Sunlight, The Present Hour, Tiepolo Pink, Into the Silence, Imperial Nostalgias, Crisis of the European Mind, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, The No World Concerto, Seedtime, Towards the One and Only Metaphor, Speedboat and Pitch Dark, Riddley Walker, A Topology of Everyday Constellations, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, The Infatuations, The Book of Questions, The Beggar’s Knife, H.D. Book, Piano Stories, A Form/Of Taking/It All, The Man Who Loved Children, A Brief History of Yes, Roadside Picnic, Oblivion, Modern Poetry and the Idea of Language, How to Live, The Secret Heart of the Clock, Magic Mountain, The Open, Plotinus or The Simplicity of Vision, The Master and His Emissary, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, Zona, Independent People, The Poetics of Reverie, The Road to Xanadu, The Summits of Modern Man, Fugitive Pieces, A German Picturesque, Alone, Nightwork, Walking and Mapping, Zibaldone, Nobody Nothing Never, The Leafless American, PrairyErth, The Horizon: A Study of Our Infinite Longing, The House of Breath, Days, Landscape with Landscape, Firefly…