what it means to survive if you have to eat others to do it

So it seems like GIVING GODHEAD by Dylan Krieger might be in contention for the best thing of 2017, according to Thomas Simmons of the Boston Review at least. I have to admit, I didn’t know there was collection to be had until today.

We’ve seen Dylan before, with her powerful rush of language. It tends to flow out forcefully, a little like ETTO favourite C A Conrad. The review will probably send yourself skittering over to Amazon to scratch away at that order button — but, until it arrives, revisit: Spring broke half a nation state away.


This week (3rd August) saw the 80th Birthday of Diane Wakoski, apparently. There are so many poets I haven’t read, and Diane is one of them.

The Stargazer is one of those poems that starts with the kind of banality we often think of as below a lot of modern poetry. Of course you read the newspaper, but the poem is from a time when expressing these small normal moments was a kind of tearing up of the traditional framing of poetry. Reclaiming poetry for keeping next to the kitchen sink (with the drama you see).

It then opens up into the saving of something great and old — and then savagery of survival in youth. A hooked linking line between the dying American elms, and the corny thought — which turns out not so corny.

I briefly scratched around and enjoyed this quote pulled from her essay The Blue Swan: An Essay on Music in Poetry:

“first comes the story. Then comes the reaction to the story. Then comes the telling and retelling of the story. And finally . . . comes boredom with the story, so that finally we invent music, and the nature of music is that you must hear all the digressions.”

Which I love, as it’s the opposite of Blake’s version of the formation of poetry. Blake’s version is to have the divine idea, the dance, then the music, and then, as the pen is placed to paper, these things drop away. As our buddy Ezra said “Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance… poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.” In both Blake and Pound here they seem to suggest that you move away from inspiration — whereas Wakoski suggests a reapplication of music once you’re bored with the ebbed inspiration.






Thanks for reading Etch To Their Own. I’ve done this for as many weeks as I am years old, and for nearly as many days as I have been free. Remember jokes? They were good weren’t they? We’ve met before, don’t you remember?It’s very easy to run away with things in your head, dreaming of some perfect world in which you’re the sun, rather than the meteor diving into it. Etch To Their Own was written by Christopher John Eggett, who likes to see his name written out from time to time. If you like what I have been doing with my Friday evenings, please tell someone about this newsletter — or send them to the medium archive. If we all need therapy, lets go together, it’ll be fun.

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