Kristina Marie Darling has two new great reviews. The first is a review on her book Vow, which was just published in the November issue of Stirring: A Literary Collection.
The second is an insightful review-in-footnotes of Petrarchan in the new issue of Diagram reviewed by Lisa Ampleman.
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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
Kristina Marie Darling's Brushes With
We were no longer in love. The sky, too, was beginning to show its wear. A silk lining could be seen through every slit in the dark green fabric. 1
I started to wonder where we went wrong. You were holding a map of the constellations.2 Each of the minor stars had been assigned to a square on a little grid. The map seemed scientific so I approached you.3
You kept looking down at your compass. The needle spinning beneath a little screw. Maybe this is where we went wrong.
Above us, the sky is still wearing its green dress. The most delicate strings holding it all in place.
1. The photographs portray this dress as one of the most violent manifestations of the heroine’s femininity.
2. At the edge of the map, she could discern a cluster of minor stars. Their incessant movement seemed difficult to comprehend, let alone to document.
3. “I had wanted to understand the cause of this fearful disturbance. Within my compass the needle kept spinning and spinning.”
*I apologize that my footnotes’ numbers do not appear like they should, that is the limitation of trying to transfer her work to a blog post. I will say that I love how she creates her text and ties footnotes to them, along with pages of just footnotes. In this piece the overwhelming darkness and the avoidance of eye contact depicts a couple avoiding each other even while present in each other’s lives. The comparison of the sky to dark green fabric with silk lining is romantic and delicate, so delicate that strings hold it in place and threaten to smother the couple should the fabric break free. Whether that was the meaning behind Darling’s piece I do not know, I only know that it is how I picture it for myself. Darling is a master at creating a visually stimulating piece weighted with more emotion than you initially read into.