Understanding Modern Poetry: Paper Cuts

Topics: If My Heart Had Windows Pages: 37 (11602 words) Published: January 11, 2011
Constance Stadler

Paper Cuts

Calliope Nerve Media

Dedication To Duane Locke my mentor, a sacred word, and to my beloved "B", who will only read these words. --Constance Acknowledgments and Thanks Ann Arbor Review, Bolts of Silk, Calliope Nerve, Clockwise Cat, Counterexample Poetics, Counter Punch, Fissure, Full of Crow, Heavy Bear, Houston Literary Review, Lit Up, Luciole Press, ken*again, Osprey, Shoots and Vines, Strangeroads, The Poetry Warrior, Tinfoildresses, Unlikely Stories 2.0, Violent Femininity, and Wilderness House Literary Review.

About the Book
"This life's dim windows of the soul Distorts the heavens from pole to pole And leads you to believe a lie When you see with, not through, the eye." -William Blake, The Everlasting Gospel The theme of this collection is simple: pain and beauty are inexorably intertwined. One makes the other more precious, and, in kind, agony becomes endurable. But there are many forms of agony, and in art as in life, it rarely comes in crashing blows but more of a ‘coffeespoon by coffespoon’ progression. The title of this book has, therefore, a dual meaning. It speaks of the dazzling suffering it means to be a poet, for as Blake notes above, we see and feel through our souls. You must turn your face to the center of the most ravishing bloom and let it consume, you must be aware of an all, or as Blake again puts it: “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” For this gift we endure so much and, for the dedicated artist, willingly so. I offer another prism of beholding. These poems speak to specific slits and slivers that we each endure. Yes, some are gashes and some do not let us know of what has been wrought till the wound has seemingly long healed. There is also the issue of cost. In gaining and growing there is almost always a trade off. I fervently believe those who pay the fare will surely be brought to the shoreline of meaning and heart.

Acclaim for Constance Stadler's Paper Cuts
Connie Stadler is one of the very few living poets who can still produce poems that are both composed according to traditional poetic standards and still worth reading. This is no slight accomplishment, and this book contains many very polished compositions that will well repay the reader's close attention. --David McLean has a BA in History from Balliol, and an unconnected MA in philosophy, much later, from Stockholm. Details of his four available full-length books, various chapbooks, and over 800 poems in or forthcoming at over 330 places online or in print over the last couple of years, are at his blog at http://www.mourningabortion.blogspot.com. A large 300-page anthology, laughing at funerals, is due 2010/01/01 from Epic Rites Press. He edits several ‘zines and the chapbooks at Epic Rites. The cover image for Paper Cuts hints at the intimacy Constance Stadler uses to share herself in this collection. And by intimacy I do not wish to imply anything racy or risqué, but the true baring of one’s soul to a trusted partner. As readers we are fortunate to be so trusted. Akin to the Language Poets, Constance uses words that help us pull the marrow from her work, their positioning on the page a critical visual element that she executes deftly. In juxtaposing pain with beauty the poet wends through numerous painful sequences with such compassion that, in places, we barely feel the abrasions. As she writes in Bleak House, “…old wounds throb/As they bite…How many died?/In this house?/In this bed?…I make tepid journeys/Through dust-encrusted Aloneness...Enfolding/My own.” But in other spots, we feel the full force of the author’s repressed pain, such as in Easter Massacred, “…Easter, fucking Easter/And I so prim and starched/That I dare not/Bolt and bash/ Those bastards to/blue-black pulpish hew. So much becoming/A 6th grader/At PS 92.” Stadler’s education and experience...
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