The Density of Suffering



Aristotle describes the contest between density and rarity as a “battle” for the “possession” of a substratum. In two poems, by Eavan Boland and Alice Oswald, the substratum is marble and stone respectively, emblems of density that here allegorize the anonymous quality of suffering. The tentative, rare occasions when this density might nonetheless “give off” something of its hermetic quality are in both poems reached at moments offleeting poignancy and great vulnerability.


Irish Language Hide Surface Poetic Imagination Marble Statue Audible Utterance 
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© Harold Schweizer 2016

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