PETRARCHAN by Kristina Marie Darling
|PETRARCHAN||Kristina Marie Darling||BlazeVOX [books]|
Here we have camera obscura’s promise of fresh sight, but on new terms. Rather than a singular inversion by way of a pinhole into darkness, Kristina Marie Darling has made a sustained, sequential engagement with shards hooked in the bright margin of possibility as it appears to an utterly opened gaze. The first six sections have an effect not unlike the tender clarity of Cornell’s dream notes, and, like them, evidence a mind opened to the extreme, apophatic, earthly, intelligent, harmed, and longing. It’s a beautiful book.
—Kathleen Peirce, author of The Ardors
Truly felt and expressed, how could a human emotion fail to break the form of a poem? In the fourteenth century, the humanist Francesco Petrarca discovered that the prohibition against mixing formal virtuosity with overpowering sentiment made this combination all the more poignant, and even explosive. He called his collection of poems Rime sparse, "scattered rhymes," because although the poems were perfect wholes, they depicted people in pieces, brokenhearted.
Petrarch's recent followers have mainly been songwriters, such as Cole Porter and Smokey Robinson. Darling, a poet, returns to the source, and decides to have her own renaissance. Petrarchan reduces Petrarch's collected works to their barest supports. A series of footnotes — definitions, explanations, and interpretations — invents new contexts for texts that are present in title only. The two appendices create new poems using a few isolated words and phrases from translations of the Rime. These poems have an intense, aggressive relationship to their sources, activating both the beauty and the pathos of fragmentation.
—Aaron Kunin, author of Folding Ruler Star
Kristina Marie Darling’s Petrarchan is a love story etched around the borders of some disappeared or otherwise concealed text. Or it’s the lyrical counterpart to that which is impossible to capture in
words without lapsing into the hyperbolic. These footnotes-as-poems blur into light, counterpointed by the empty space on the pages above, an endless circularity of corridors and rooms, ghostly and multiplying, within the “house by the sea.” These vivid points of recess and flaring luminosities spark the imagination to fire. And the erasures that act as echoes at the end of this sequence, comprised of text taken from Petrarch’s Sonnets, resonate through history with a remarkable immediacy. Petrarchan is masterfully orchestrated and brilliantly composed, and it achieves a gestalt that is the more remarkable for the fact of this book being largely a sequence of fragments and miniature deconstructions.
—David Dodd Lee, author of The Nervous Filaments
Redacted and elliptical, Petrarchan reimagines the grotesque Wuthering Heights haunted house as a rhizomic Regency Romance estate and the result is not unlike the genre of film that Pauline Kael once called the end of Western Civilization as a cocktail party. The book, which may be one poem or many, collects many of the exciting interdisciplinary strands of contemporary poetry: New Narrative, the all-footnote poetry of Jenny Boully, glam decadence, cinephilia and architectural influences, the archival work of writers like Robin Schiff, and the idea that all writing is always already translation. Film editor Walter Murch once described the films he loved as being filled with offscreen space and Petrarchan is such a film: footnotes to an invisible text, rather like Archimedes calculating a structure’s height by measuring its shadow.
—Ken Chen, author of Juvenilia
Kristina Marie Darling's Petrarchan uses ideas of the fragment, the unsaid, and the unknown to gesture towards her own passionate syntax. It seeks the person in Petrarch's humanism.
—Sean Singer, author of Discography
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of seven previous books of poetry and hybrid prose: Night Songs (Gold Wake Press, 2010), Compendium (Cow Heavy Books, 2011), The Body is a Little Gilded Cage: A Story in Letters & Fragments (Gold Wake Press, 2012), Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Palimpsest (Patasola Press, 2012), Correspondence (Scrambler Books, 2012), and The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell (BlazeVOX Books, 2012). She also edited the forthcoming anthology narrative (dis)continuities: prose experiments by younger american writers (Moria Books, 2012). Her books have been reviewed widely in literary journals, which include The Colorado Review, Writers' Digest, The American Literary Review, Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, Stride Magazine (U.K.), and The Hiram Poetry Review. Within the past few years, her work has been honored with fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Ragdale Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Kristina is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo, where she holds a Presidential Fellowship.
· Paperback: 72 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-116-0