The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 24, 2007

"The Seeds Gathering On His Trouser Legs"

Gjertrud Schnackenberg has a very cool knack in this introduction--she sheds light on much of what rests behind the surface of her poem. She's fit an enormous range of references in here--Charles Darwin's autobiography, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Shakespeare's Prospero, which all dovetail together quite nicely when Schnackenberg gets done explaining it.

I'm a big fan of this idea, that there is a tremendous amount of outside information behind what ultimately goes into the distilled words of a poem. The idea of a poet as a voracious reader and constant student. 

Here's Gjertrud Schnackenberg reading--and giving some excellent food for thought about--her own poem 'Darwin in 1881' from Supernatural Love, which you can buy online.

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Comments

Everett

I have loved her poetry for some time, but now I also love her soft, quiet voice.

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