The Glass Essay

Anne Carson’s Glass, Irony & God is introduced modestly by Guy Davenport:

Poets distinguish themselves by the way they see. A dull poet is one who sees fashionably or blindly what he thinks poets see. The original poet sees with new eyes, or with imported vision (as with Eliot seeing like Laforgue or Pound like the Chinese). Anne Carson’s eyes are original.

Of the exceptional The Glass Essay Davenport goes on to say:

The test of poetry, however, is easy. Read “The Glass Essay”, a poem richer than most novels nowadays. See how its utter clarity of narration it weaves and conflates one theme with another, how it works in the Brontës as daimons to preside over the poem and to haunt it, how it tells two strong stories with Tolstoyan skill, how it reflects on its themes in subtle and surprising ways.

2 thoughts on “The Glass Essay

  1. Amazingly, the only piece of Carson’s original (non-translation) work I’ve read is NOX, but I have her Autobiography of Red and Decreation on the TBR and this teaser makes me want to take them down today.

    Her treatment of family is so prickly. There is such a mournfulness when she writes about mothers. And so much empty space separating humans. I love her work.


  2. I need to devote some time to Carson’s own work too, which I keep buying, dipping into periodically but rarely completing. It isn’t for lack of interest because I too love her writing.


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