“Debths” by Susan Howe

4 comments

IMG_5085

I am off to a crazy late start to the summer reading challenge.  Absorbed by family matters (parent care-giving), my mind has not been capable of being still long enough to read much of anything.  But, for some reason, this little book by Susan Howe kept nagging at me to sit down.  This is not an ordinary book- even with several years of experience with modern poetry, this little book caught me off guard.  I really don’t know how to describe it, other than it feels fragmented, yet integrative .. as though Susan Howe took words and passages that once held narrative and meaning, and she rearranged and reorganized them to create something altogether different and new.  Some of the poems read as poems, others look like they might be remnants of a store receipt that got caught in the printer.  This creates a pattern that is both visual and linguistic throughout the book:

IMG_5086

IMG_5088

Although the book could feel challenging, and maybe even disconcerting, I felt like it met me where I am – in my mind and energy..  I was required to suspend any conditions of how I would prefer to read a book, and enter a different way of navigating language.  This is why I have been drawn to modern poetry, and while there is so much that I do not understand about the roots and inspirations for this book, I truly enjoyed it at my own level of engagement…

4 comments on ““Debths” by Susan Howe”

  1. How diverting this text, Meredith. I think of the criticality, the urgency, of the role of the white page here. Although “once in the real world” (for lack of a title, I’ll use the first line) is much about the sound of the world/word, this isn’t poetry meant only for the ear. Love your “caught in the printer” description. Thank you for posting the images. I’m glad Debths came to you at the right moment, and I’m wishing you well with your parent care-giving. Take care, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Meredith, I really love what you have said here –

    Although the book could feel challenging, and maybe even disconcerting, I felt like it met me where I am – in my mind and energy.. I was required to suspend any conditions of how I would prefer to read a book, and enter a different way of navigating language.

    And love that you recognized this and were able to describe it. What wonderful give and get between you and this book. And yes, take care.

    Like

  3. I admire all of you who engage modern poetry at such a deep level. You encourage me to keep trying. Meredith, I’m so glad to have your “voice” back with us again. Your posts are so beautifully written. My parents have both died, but I remember how hard it was when roles reversed, and I became a caregiver. This blog encourages me to continue to reflect on the complexities of all stages of life. I appreciate both the broad range of books and art reviewed and all the members who thoughtfully share through posts and comments. Thanks to all.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s