Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Great Regulars: The action of the ice freezing around

Franklin's doomed expedition is enacted by the subordinate clauses and phrases that pile up like "steeples/of jagged ice" and prevent a full single sentence from reaching its fatal end, until the poem's end.

"See how foolish you have been," Pollock concludes, "forcing your way by will across a land/that can't be forced, but must be understood,/toward a passage just now breaking up within." Language is landscape, and its cartography is poetry's only navigable fact.

from Michael Lista: National Post: On Poetry: Sailing to Babylon, by James Pollock


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