This post contributed by Anne Champion.
Kristina Marie Darling
BlazeVOX Books, 2013
Kristina Marie Darling’s accolades already include eleven books of poetry, and her newest collection, Petrarchan, keeps up with this furious creative momentum. In Darling’s past work, she has carved out a form of poetry all her own, built from fragments, definitions, and footnotes; in Petrarchan, she stays true to this legacy while also foraying into some newer territory—cryptic erasure poems and bracketed verse pilfered from Petrarch’s sonnets.
Darling’s intelligent eye often draws from the history of artistic geniuses or theorists, and this collection pays homage not only to Petrarch but to Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho. She uses writers as inspirational clay: in molding their thoughts, she titillates the reader’s imagination, forcing them to contemplate an invisible narrative hovering above the footnotes. Additionally, Darling often revisits familiar tropes: readers see images refracted through glimmering shards of shattered mirrors, broken jewelry, and lost possessions. In these shards, readers find glimpses of warped but recognizable versions of themselves. For instance:
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