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a great review of Petrarchan in The Columbia Poetry Review


Review of Kristina Marie Darling’s Petrachan


Darling’s latest, Petrarchan, is an unwritten work. Its poems, non-existent, allude to themselves through interwoven footnotes, which frame the empty pages so richly, it feels as though the verse were pared down to the most incidental, stirring self-realizations. Through them, Darling explores the land-scape of her psyche – a “house by the sea.” Its archetypal fiber weaves the numerous and obscure corridors of her soul out of domestic imagery. A necklace beneath a stairwell glimmers as the steps catch fire.

To Darling, we are fragmented by the secret rooms of the heart and the life-blood they quietly gestate, which, when discovered, upsets the balance of our identity – the underpinning question: “What is a relationship with the self?” This is strikingly revisited in her erasures of Petrarch’s sonnets, whose meanings are altered – in some cases, empowered – by Darling’s cuts. The sonnets explored become volatile – a few words, isolated, expose infinite possibilities for meaning.  Petrarchan reconfigures identity as a reaction to what we do not know. Self-awareness becomes an anxiety and acceptance of chance arrangement – meaning emerges as a chaotic intersection of experiences whose halls we feel through blindly, but trust.

Read the whole review here

Check out Petrarcan here

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