Wednesday, August 04, 2021

The command to be amazed in Sumita Chakraborty's "Arrow"

In the second of the poems called "Arrow" in her Carcanet collection "Arrow", Sumita Chakraborty writes that "[i]f it is the last thing I do, I'll command you to be amazed." Yet commanded amazement is almost an oxymoron; after all, amazement and its fellows astonishment and surprise are all spontaneous. Still, I did spontaneously read the passage as ironic – and in a way then still fulfilled the command that I should be amazed. If astonishment is the basis of poetry – or of philosophy, as Hannah Arendt claimed in her speech for Martin Heidegger's 80th birthday – then it, too, must be spontaneous and cannot be commanded or threatened into existence, except ironically. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 4 August 2021)



Arrow (Carcanet Poetry) by Sumita Chakraborty Book The ...

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