Monday, March 20, 2023

"The context might change my reading”: Quotations from Denise Levertov poems as epigrams

In my daily reading of Denise Levertov's poems (and John Ashbery's before that), I quote a passage from each day's poem. Today's line is from "Letter to a Friend": "It’s against the rules to tell your own fortune." I realize that my practice takes the lines I choose out of context and makes them into epigrams. The context might well change the sense of the epigram — and "Letter to a Friend" is about context: Levertov is replying to a postcard with an image of a woman that her friend identified with: "The image is only / a detail, a fragment of a larger whole. / The context might change my reading." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 20 March 2023) 

No comments: