Curator of Silence

ISBN-10: 0268036616

ISBN-13: 9780268036614

Edition: 2006

Authors: Jude Nutter

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The title poem--about a group of schoolchildren illustrating Shelley's "Ode to a Nightingale"--ends with the following assertion: "these are the only/lessons they will ever need to learn: that life/is not artifact, but aperture--a stepping into/and a falling away; that to sing is to rise/from the grave of the body. And still/say less than nothing." This idea of the aperture, the gap, the silence that exists between what we want to say and what we actually do say pervades The Curator of Silence. The paradox, of course, is that the creation of art itself makes this gap, as there is always a gulf between the impulse and the gesture, the vision and the poem. Nutter's experience of living for two months in the Antarctic, perhaps the greatest silence and solitude possible on earth, is the archetype of silence whose many dimensions she explores in this volume. She considers both literal, obvious silences--death, abandonment, loneliness, the silence into which lost things vanish--and silence of a more mysterious and paradoxical nature: the (mis)perceptions of childhood, the erasures of addiction and brain damage, the isolation of Antarctic explores, and the seemingly distant, and often fearsome, lives of animals. In the end, this great silence we batter our hearts against--call it the grave or god or the universe or the intimate silence of the white page--is the silence these poems are singing to and with, not against.
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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date: 11/15/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 80
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.264
Language: English

To the reader
The hermit thrust
Grave robbing with Rilke
The falcon
The garden party
The fourth man
The rest of us
The curator of silence
Still life with Casaba melon
March 2003, and my father remembers the war
The last supper
Meditations : Tyne Cot Cemetery, Ypres
Boys throwing baseball
Epitaph on Interstate 80, Nevada
Giving it away
The silver vase
Elegy for Mumbai
Private mythology
Naming the world
The dream in broad daylight
Observing the afterlife
The cherry picker
Aurelia aurita
One year of not drinking : a letter at Thanksgiving
The poet in reflection
Ars poetica
A winter portrait of my neighbour George
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