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Crisis and Contemporary Poetry by Anne Karhio

By Anne Karhio

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Glück connects the oracular metaphor to her silence as the existential-author-creator: ‘You hear this voice? This is my mind’s voice; / […] don’t ask it to respond again’ (p. 7).

160) The intensity expressed here through repetition functions doubly to indicate both a historical betrayal (that which led to the mother’s capture by the Hungarian Nazis in Budapest) and, more covertly, an anxiety in relation to a contemporary betrayal – the betrayal implicit in the poem’s failure (‘by omission’) adequately to represent its subject-matter. Repetition of the word ‘betrayal’ locates the action centrally within the poem and defines it as a historical event which can only insist on its occurrence and its significance within the poem.

31), Quintilian states that ‘With the help of this form of language, it is permitted to bring the gods down from the skies, and to evoke (or bring forth) the dead. Cities, even, and peoples, receive the gift of voice’ (cited in Wofford, 1992, p. 179). , p. 194). In ‘October’ Glück observes the world and remembers violence in late summer, relating the rape and death of Korê to the destruction of 11 September 2001: Summer after summer has ended, balm after violence: it does me no good to be good now; violence has changed me.

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