Poetry International Poetry International

Anne Carson

Anne  Carson

Anne Carson

(Canada, 1950)
Anne Carson has been teaching classical Greek literature at leading universities in Canada and the United States for the past twenty years. It is a part of her life and personality that carries over into her poetry, the inspiration and background for her literary work, consisting of essays (Eros the Bittersweet, The Economy of the Unlost) and a mixture of essays and poetry (Plainwater; Glass, Irony and God).
Any associations of classical scholarship with stuffiness are quickly dispelled by Anne Carson’s talent for reviving the poetry and philosophy of the ancient Greeks and for making them part of our modern experience.
The tale of Hercules who kills the monster Geryon and steals his red cattle, in her version becomes the story of a doomed love affair between two boys (Autobiography of Red); the going-round-in-circles of a fierce marital row is predicted with a quote from Parmenides: ‘It is all one to me where I start – I’ll arrive there again soon enough’

But neither her subtle narrative skill, nor her strangely melodious verse can explain why, when the mind reads Anne Carson, the heart reads along. The reason is in the sweat of suffering, in the erotic, bleeding pain that emanates from her lines. It is a pain which, together with her often idiosyncratic punctuation and the very personal music this produces, suggests a kinship with Emily Dickinson, whom she often quotes.

Her new collection The Beauty of a Husband (a fiction essay in 29 tangos), is due to appear in 2001. Her collection Men in the Off Hours is coming out in the U.S.A. later this year.
© Marijke Emeis (Translated by Ko Kooman)
[Anne Carson took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2000. This text was written on that occasion.]

Publications (selection)
Short Talks (1992)
Glass, Irony and God (1995)
Glass and God (1998)
Autobiography of Red (1999)
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère