By Laurie Sheck
The “exquisite and haunting” (Booklist) number of poems outfitted round the language and mystique of yankee captivity narratives within which Sheck enters the vibrant existence we are living inside of our personal minds and selves, and takes us into the mysterious underside of recognition and selfhood.
From Publishers Weekly
The squat, long-lined poems of Sheck's 5th assortment meditate on American captivity narratives—stories well known within the past due seventeenth century, equivalent to Mary Rowlandson's a story of the Captivity and recovery of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, usually approximately abduction by means of local Americans—as metaphors for the restrictions of recognition and the poetry that attempts to render it. those narratives are without delay addressed within the 17 "Removes," a time period taken from Rowlandson's booklet. in other places, Sheck (Black sequence) references different singularly American figures, together with Dickinson, Stevens, William James and Emerson. Sheck relishes the "slow conversion of myself into nothingness," an important (and usually violent) step towards knowing "this chain of emotions through which we suggest (if it really is that) a self." those poems every now and then appear to courtroom vagueness—words equivalent to "scatter," "broken," and "elsewhere" are between Sheck's so much targeted descriptive phrases. a few readers could locate that Sheck exhausts her issues and the time from which they originate; modernity looks on occasion, and whilst it does—in the shape of "a display screen candescing," the human genome and one "marketing director"—the impression is jarring. all through, even though, Sheck's lengthy strains maintain a chic uncertainty, and her fractured syntax calls either Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins to brain: "The seconds slant and coarse with split-asunder."
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Extra info for Captivity
Much o f this work proved helpful in revising and fine-tuning the translations— something I keep doing today and will no doubt keep doing in the future. 36 The detailed narrative o f the various stages o f this project is not meant to propose the count o f years and the accumulation o f versions as proof o f quality; to the contrary: it is meant to relativize the very notion o f a definitive, final translation. Any given stage was as definite a translation as I could make at that time, and next years version would no doubt be different from this one.
Reality for Celan, maybe more so than for any other poet this century, was the word, was language. Radically dispossessed o f any other real ity he set about to create his own language— a language as absolutely exiled as he himself. e. to find a similarly current English or Am eri can “ Umgangssprache”— would be to miss an essential aspect o f the poetry, the linguistic under-mining and displacement that creates a multi-perspectivity m irror ing and reticulating the polysemous meanings o f the work.
Von un getrau m tem 4 geatzt, wirft das schlaflos durchwanderte Brotiand den Lebensberg auf. Aus seiner Krume knetest du neu unsre Namen, die ich, ein deinem gleichendes Aug an jedem der Finger, abtaste nach einer Stelle, durch die ich mich zu dir heranwachen kann, die helle Hungerkerze im Mund. By t h e u n d r e a m t etched, the sleeplessly wandered-through breadland casts up the life mountain. From its crumb you knead anew our names, which I, an eye similar to yours on each finger, probe for a place, through which I can wake myself toward you, the bright hungercandle in mouth.