Sunday, 31 January 2016

Alice Notley

It is hard to put Alice Notley into a box. Throughout the four decades of her extraordinary career her style has continued to shift and turn. Active in the New York poetry scene in the 1960s and 70s and indeed married to Ted Berrigan for more than 10 years, she is often associated with the Second Generation of New York School poets. But her work can also be found to reveal darker, almost mystical tendencies at one point while displaying a light, disjunctive style bordering on language poetry at other times. Her later work has a particular focus on book-length projects and often features narrative and character-centred forms.

Notley is the author of over 25 books of poetry. Her many awards include the San Francisco Poetry Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. Notley currently lives in Paris.


Links:
http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/notley/
http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Notley.php
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/alice-notley
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/alice-notley


My below poem took its initial inspiration from Notley’s “Beginning with a stain”.

~ - ~

beginning with a borrowing

beginning
with a borrowing
a wording
a spacing
a lining
a sentencing

words are
for uses
on the plains:
mother’s yellow handbag
sister’s silver bracelets abandoned in the drawer of the old room
brother’s battered travel case (blue)
father’s dark and heavy coat

words are
for uses
on the rules:
i steht fuer ich
went steht fuer vergangenheit
away steht fuer fernweh
forever fuer romantik

words are
for uses
on her own:
beginning
with a borrowing
a wording
a spacing
a lining
a sentencing


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