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Unread 07-30-2019, 05:19 PM
Nausheen Eusuf Nausheen Eusuf is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 644
Default Stallings interview in LitHub

There's a lovely interview with Alicia Stallings on LitHub today -- here's the link. She speaks so eloquently -- e.g. "Rhyme is a sort of echolocation—you speak out into the world, and it answers back to you." And also: "Inspiration is a state of receptiveness to things larger than or other than oneself, a kind of empathy not necessarily with people but with objects, slants of light, shadows, and the sounds of things."

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Unread 07-30-2019, 06:06 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,563

Mme de Stael somewhat similarly called rhyme "The image of hope and memory," in I think Corinne ou l'Italie (1807).

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Unread 07-31-2019, 08:57 AM
Chris O'Carroll Chris O'Carroll is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,597

Thanks for that link, Nausheen. That rhyme as echolocation quote recalls Stallings' sonnet "Explaining an Affinity for Bats", which finds a metaphor for a poet's navigation through life and art when it celebrates winged mammals as creatures

Who find their way by calling into darkness
To hear their voice bounce off the shape of things.
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Unread 07-31-2019, 09:20 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Location: TX
Posts: 4,563

What a lovely couplet.

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Unread 08-01-2019, 07:45 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 7,237

Thanks for the link, Nausheen. I certainly feel this way: "I think many poets, myself included, are struggling with how to keep writing in the face of the environmental degradation that is looming over us and our children..." And I was glad to read this: "Poetry is extremely hardy—it was around before the alphabet and will outlast many kinds of human technology. I am robustly optimistic about poetry, but that is maybe the only thing I am optimistic about."
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Unread 08-06-2019, 06:32 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 2,965

Thanks you Nausheen,

What a great interview. I really need to read more of her, I liked everything she said. I loved her ruminations on rhyme. Made me think of Heaney's 'Personal Helicon'

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
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Unread 08-06-2019, 08:11 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,015

Yes, Alicia always gives great interviews about poetry, and this one is no exception. They are little classics on the subject, full of memorable statements.

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