Poem of the Day: ‘Gnosticism III’ by Anne Carson

Anne Carson

It’s still April, which means it’s still National Poetry Month.  Today’s poem of the day is Gnosticism III by Anne Carson, from her collection, Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera.  Carson is known for her innovative work with poetry, composing entire novels in verse such as Autobiography in Red, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 TangosHer acclaimed style is unique and resists categorization.  If you like what you read, also be sure to take a look at Eros the Bittersweet, and one of her most recent works, Nox.

~

Gnosticism III

First line has to make your brain race that’s how Homer does it,
that’s how Frank O’Hara does it, why
at such a pace
Muses
slam through the house — there goes one (fainting) up the rungs
of your strange BULLFIGHT, buttered
almost in a nearness
to skyblue
They pang — Pollock yourself!
Just to hang on to life is why

~Anne Carson has published numerous books of poetry including Short Talks (Brick Books, 1992); Glass, Irony and God (New Directions, 1995), short listed for the Forward Prize; Plainwater: Essays and Poetry (Knopf, 1996); Autobiography of Red (Knopf, 1998), short listed for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize; The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos (Knopf, 2001), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry; and her most recent, NOX (New Directions, 2010). Carson is also a Classics scholar, the translator of Electra (Oxford University Press, 2001); If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (Knopf, 2002); An Oresteia (Faber and Faber, 2009), and the author of Eros the Bittersweet (Princeton University Press, 1986). Her awards and honors include the Lannan Literary Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur Fellowship. She was also the Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany. (From www.poets.org.)

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