[identity profile] thebowlerhat.livejournal.com
While working on my COMPS essay yesterday, I found this awesome article. It's from a couple of years ago, but it's the best explanation of the zuihitsu form I've come across, and Kimiko Hahn rocks in it!
[identity profile] sa-am.livejournal.com
"Ruth Maxey: What do you see as the task of poetry?
Meena Alexander: In a time of violence, the task of poetry is in some way to reconcile us to our world and to allow us a measure of tenderness and grace with which to exist. I believe this very deeply and I see it as an effort to enter into the complications of the moment even if they are violent but through that, in some measure, the task of poetry is to reconcile us to the world—not to accept it at face value or to assent to things that are wrong, but to reconcile one in a larger sense. Camus says in The Myth of Sisyphus that there’s only one philosophical question: whether to commit suicide. And he says, “the point is to live.” He says that we must imagine Sisyphus happy as he pushes the stone up.1 Seen in that way, the act of writing is intrinsic to the act of living. It’s as if Sisyphus has to keep reinventing the wheel: once he goes up, the wheel rolls down and he has to start again. It’s a punishment but it’s also the way in which he grows in the world."

Interview link

http://www.kenyonreview.org/issues/winter06/maxey.php

I'm teaching Meena Alexander's [i]Raw Silk[/i] this quarter, her book that focuses on violence, with some interesting poems that interrogate a post 9/11 milieu. It is part of a post 9/11 unit that includes Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Timothy Liu's For Dust Thou Art, and Genny Lim's Child of War.

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