Why, What, and How Poetry Remembers
Presented at the 2017 National Conference in Austin, TX.
I have finally stumbled upon an unambiguously good use for my iPhone (which has caused me no little amount of existential doubt and distress): on it I have a short personal catalogue of poems recorded by my voice. At least twice a week, I play these on my knees in the dark as part of my personal devotions. Though I know them by heart, I dwell again in the presence of what they witness--put down in particular words, sounds, rhythms, voice tone. What they give me (and how) is the subject of this talk.