Christmas stories - Anne Carson

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. Israel Sundseth

Anne Carson - Decreation

This is an essay about three women and will have three parts. Part One concerns Sappho, a Greek poet of the seventh century B.C., who lived on the island of Lesbos, wrote some famous poetry about love and is said to have organized her life around worship of the God Aphrodite. Part Two concerns Marguerite Porete, who was burned alive in the public square of Paris in 1310 because she had written a book about the love of God which the papal inquisitor deemed heretical. Part Three concerns Simone Weil, the twentieth-century French classicist and philosopher whom Camus called "the only great spirit of our time."

Duke University Press



D E S P I T E   H E R   P A I N,   A N O T H E R   D A Y

River fogs (7 am) stray and begin, shiver and begin
on the September mill rocks.
Bits of leaf mirror along. I have arrived at my sanity.
Evidence (7 pm): while she medicates I walk by the river.
Millwheel smells like wet cornhusk.
On my back (2.38 am) in the dark at Dorset Motel I listen to the radiator click
and to her, awake on the other side of town
in the hot small room
gripping a glow-in-the-dark rosary.
Whatever they say about time, life only moves in one direction,
that’s a fact, mirroring along.
River fogs (7 am) go flayed and silvery
when it dawns dark
on the day I leave.
reads a sign just off the selvedges.
Mindingness gulps us.
Her on the bed as bent twigs.
Me, as ever, gone.


Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera


In her first collection in five years, Anne Carson contemplates “decreation”–an activity described by Simone Weil as “undoing the creature in us”–an undoing of self. But how can we undo self without moving through self, to the very inside of its definition? Where else can we start? Anne Carson’s Decreation starts with form–the undoing of form. Form is various here: opera libretto, screenplay, poem, oratorio, essay, shot list, rapture. The undoing is tender, but tenderness can change everything, or so the author appears to believe. From the Hardcover edition


Anne Carson, born June 21, 1950, is a

Canadian poet, essayist, translator and

professor of Classics. Carson lived in Montreal

for several years and taught at McGill

University, the University of Michigan,

and at Princeton University from

1980-1987. She was a 1998 Guggenheim

Fellow. and in 2000 she was awarded a

MacArthur Fellowship. She has also

won a Lannan Literary Award.


Anne Carson, born June 21, 1950, is a Canadian poet.