Sunday, 23 April 2000

From "Off the Grid: Lyric and Politics in Andrea Brady's Embrace"

by John Wilkinson.

How radically do such poetic practices differ from a more debased lyric currency, which not without poignancy offers a set of signposts to the poet's untestable and external authenticity? These seemingly opposed practices may be less different than first appears, for the unknowable is their common resort. Gesturing toward the nub of selfhood may look preposterous as long as the reader resists the solicited identification. But however disingenuous its installation of self may be, this ultimate resort of self-expressive writing, like those poetic modes that would oppose it, yearns for transcendence in the communal. How much more admirable, how different the solicitations of the polysemous blaze as it primps for numinous effect? But then, what of the danger of paralysis when confronted by real offense, or when writing under the hypercritical sway of critical theory? Go for God, or shout the house down and kick the rubble gleefully? Or concede ruefully with Drew Milne that poetry's exactions reserve it as a separate pursuit?

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