Friday, August 13, 2021

The pages of the sea in Denise Levertov and Aracelis Girmay

At the end of Denise Levertov's "To the Reader", "the sea is turning its dark pages". While I was reading Aracelis Girmay's "The Black Maria" (Boa 2016), I heard a slight echo of Levertov's line in the poem "to the sea": "we touched / the brief pulse of your fluttering / pages". Although I didn't take this as an explicit allusion, I underlined "pages" as a note to myself. But at the end of the final poem in Girmay's book, "Fourth Estrangement, with a Petition for the Reunion of Jonathan & George Jackson", the possible Levertov connection sounds much more explicit: "the Pacific turning & turning // its infinitely black pages". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 13 August 2021)


the black maria - BOA Editions, Ltd.

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