Xue Er De -Fen Library

American Literature

No image there and the gaze remains : the visual in the work by Catherine Karaguezian

By Catherine Karaguezian

First released in 2006. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation

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Extra info for No image there and the gaze remains : the visual in the work of Jorie Graham

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The speaker's relationship with the natural world is more reciprocal than it has ever been in Graham's work: as a speaker in one of Never's poems puts it, "One lives so long one feels the noticing / in all one sees" ("Prayer" 18). Graham seems to have emerged from her spiritual exercise, the denial of the visible in Swarm, having recommitted to the pleasures of the visible world, able to find in them an avenue to the empirical SOft of truth she has always sought, and moreover, to the spirit of the divine that she now believes might imbue that visible world.

The speaker's relationship with the natural world is more reciprocal than it has ever been in Graham's work: as a speaker in one of Never's poems puts it, "One lives so long one feels the noticing / in all one sees" ("Prayer" 18). Graham seems to have emerged from her spiritual exercise, the denial of the visible in Swarm, having recommitted to the pleasures of the visible world, able to find in them an avenue to the empirical SOft of truth she has always sought, and moreover, to the spirit of the divine that she now believes might imbue that visible world.

Her concerns about the poet's ability to explore the possibility of a connection between the visible and the invisible worlds are evident in all her books in both literal and metaphorical acts of looking: the visual is a generating force behind her poetry even when it is absent from that poetry. In her first book, Hybrids o[ Plants and o[ Ghosts, Graham reveals her discomfort with what she perceives as the disjunctions between what the eye of the subject beholding the object sees, what that subject sees in the mind's eye, and what the subject or poet can convey of either reality through poetry.

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