Topographies: the play of silence and space in Kathleen Fraser's "Etruscan Pages" by James McCorkle


In Kathleen Fraser's "Etruscan Pages" one finds spatial arrangements that allow for heterogeneity in the levels and genres of language and for degrees of lyricism. Her work, as she describes it in "The Tradition of Marginality," is "a listening attitude, an attending to unconscious connections, a backing-off of the performing ego to allow the mysteries of language to come forward and resonate more fully" (59). Fraser notes in a 1996 interview with Cynthia Hogue that what most interested her "was always a project of language textures and invention. . . . the particular research of the language. How it placed itself on the page" (23). What follows is a series of meditations on various aspects of Fraser's poetics; simultaneously the essay tracks "Etruscan Pages" to provide a partial reading of the poem.


"Etruscan Pages" opens with a meditation on error. In its grammatical alignment the poem's opening line compresses location, "Norchia," a site of Etruscan cliff tombs, with temporality, "day of error." The place name "Norchia." becomes translated or qualified as "day of error." Signs are unreliable in Fraser's travels. In the second line, isolated on the page like the first line, the poet, who is like the reader a traveler, comes across a tin sign that could provide direction. However, it is broken and only part is available to be read: "'olis' of necropolis hanging there." In her essay "This Phrasing Unreliable Except As Here," Fraser questions "Does that static resting place ["the scrubbed and well-brushed historic formulas of the known"], often regarded as 'the perfect solution,' actually function as the carrot dangling from the stick, the lure urging us forward with its possibility of temporary sustenance so that we may go on to risk our own idiosyncratic depictions and commit our own perfection-resistant 'errors'?" Perception, it may be argued, becomes possible only when in error. Error is a redundant process. Recognition of error requires the re-tracing of the earlier process against which it is compared: "Same wrong direction, again, olive groves / running backwards through rented window." In this pair of lines "again" acts as a fulcrum balancing the abstract with the physical as well as positing an ethical evaluation, committing the same "wrong" (direction) again.
        As Linda Kinnahan notes in her Poetics of the Feminine, "accident" is a "matter of language interpretation or translation-or, more precisely, a revisionary openness to mistranslation" (194-5). To be in error, to mistranslate, or to invite accident becomes a means to re-present and re-iterate the possibilities of process. To invite this condition is to be, in Fraser's words from an earlier poem "Flood," "imperfectly ready / to re-write." This revisionary process is intermeshed with the feminist project of the retrieval of neglected and marginalized histories, texts, experiences, and indeed, bodies of women. To "re-write," for Fraser, parallels Adrienne Rich's famous invocation of "writing as re-vision." In her essay, "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision," Rich states that "Re-vision-the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction-is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival. . . . how our language has trapped as well as liberated us, how the very act of naming has been till now a male prerogative" (35). Rich and Fraser exemplify two different responses to the phallocentric poetics they were challenging: Rich's poetry evolved toward a didactic, to use Willard Spigelman's term, poetry: a public poetry with the rhetorical purpose to persuade. In this process Rich, despite her use of fragments and journal entries, does not challenge the topography of language except as a transparent social force.
        Fraser's separation from the feminist poetics represented by Rich is detailed in her essay "The Tradition of Marginality." Central to Fraser's poetics, and clearly in resistance to both the feminist projects represented by poets like Rich and more mainstream poetics, are such processes as the openness to accident, the recovery of accident as a way of perceiving, an insistence on the margin as the place of apprehension. "Accident" and "error" are not devices synonymous with automatic writing, for instance, but the exploration of syntactic and semantic slippages, mutations, and metonymies as well as the re-presentation of the condition of being-in-error or of losing one's location or of being in dis-location. This dis-location of sound, time, and textual fixity is exemplified in the lines "mulberry mare, mar Tirreno / lean spare Tyrrhenian sea" from "Etruscan Pages." Sound becomes a movement across the lines: this not simply internal rhyme, but a form of rhythmic slippage. We move from the specific object: mulberry to mare as horse or sea in Italian to the Italian name and location "mar Tirreno." Fraser then re-translates the place-name back into English while also re-iterating the sounds in lean/Tyrrhenian and spare/mare. These slippages and translations give rise to other readings: mare as horse or sea? mar as sea or effacement? Fraser resists syntactic and semantic closure, instead (mis)translation becomes the pleasure of reading, if not also the place of the reader's ethical prerogative. Error thus becomes simultaneously a spatial event and a temporal event. The "Prologo" continues with the repeated descent of a "grey-headed carrion crow" and Fraser's note, "A traveler, not understanding the bird's motive / notes the beauty of its ruffled, fog-colored hood / as it rises." Is the traveler Fraser recording her own previous error, or a version of Dante on his own travels to meet the dead, or the tourist whose error is never made known and who thus conflates pure description with knowledge.
        Writing of Stevens, Fraser comments "It is this aspiration to locution that Stevens articulates, this lyric pressure of the moment's assembled meanings that makes up his rendering of sensibility in flux. It is the construction of what he discovers and how he knows through attentive observation, multiplied by the sound and velocity of what he imagines" (Fraser 148). Fraser continues, citing "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," that the poem was not only representation of a Cubist subversion of a unitary perspective, but "a series of warnings signalling the inevitability of error, the flaw that waits patiently to undue one's 'idea of order'" (148). Not only in these comments on Stevens, but also in "'This Phrasing Unreliable Except as Here,'" Fraser invokes error as the source of change and as the force of resistance to accepted ideas. Error is what critics rebuke, for it counters perfection, which Fraser argues "implies at the least a pre-existing model of writing practice, a model of structural aptitude and acclaimed excellence as well as a particular stylistic signature that has been named, admired and awarded the serious attention of a like community" (210).
        To accede to a "pre-existing model" is to close off possibility-and indeed the lyric's condition of ecstasy. Thus in Fraser's lines "Quick finches scale air / In the ravine, a presence" (10) we find a doubled movement into air and plunging into the ravine as well as the compressed succession of k/c/s sounds. These lines take one out of one's place: presence is not the knowledge of self but an awareness of presence beyond the bounds of one's self. The ravine is an opening in the literal terrain, but also an interruption and hollowing out that provides the space for another presence.
        The final sections of the Prologo bring the traveler closer to the Etruscan script: "wind sifts iron filings' / carelessly drawn script . . . above the place they lay the dead one" (11). The script is over the body-the body is over-written, but in such a way that both the script and the body become equivalent in their mystery. Fraser is at a point of intersections: the awareness of the neglect or the historical effacement of Etruscan history collides with that lost history's presence and the traces of its script. Here Michel De Certeau's thoughts prove illuminating, for he notes that memory embodies "two contradictory operations: forgetting, which is not something passive, a loss, but an action directed against the past; and the mnemic trace, the return of what was forgotten." Furthermore, what was forgotten "resurfaces, it troubles" the present system or order that sought to eliminate that past or otherness (3-4). De Certeau's distinction between the "space of memory" in psychoanalysis and historiography provides an analogue to Fraser's poetic: psychoanalysis distributes space in terms of imbrication, equivocality, and repetition whereas historiography relegates space in terms of succession, correlation, causality, and disjunction (4). Indeed, "historiography is the inverse of the poetic" project, for the "law of historiography functions to obscure nothingness, to suppress the void, to fill the gap" (31). Nothing has authorized the poem; there is no pre-existing knowledge that possesses the poem. Hence, as we read the Etruscan script that closes the Prologo, we are radically, ecstatically moved or dis-located. History and its referents cannot intercede, instead we must confront a textual ravine, openness, or unknowingness.

And yet that script asks to be read. It is an invitation, a greeting, or an opening of space.
        The next two sections of "Etruscan Pages" is a traveling into that space, dismissed as "'Nothing, nothing there,' / someone said / of the places we longed for" (12). Fraser invokes the landscape with precision: "Wind skidding grey Maremma / wide and water-logged" or "Sheep's cloudy asymmetry." Details are provided but "episodic, chromatic." As also found in the Prologo, these descriptions are often monostiches and couplets. These single lines or compressed gatherings of lines inverts the sense of spatial opening and moves toward a concentration of the reader's eye upon the text. Thus a process of decentering is balanced by a centering upon a word or phrase, leading in a sense to the interiority of language.
        The use of space to suspend text creates both a distinct fragmentation of language as well as a concentration of perception. Such fragmentation posits a thesis, as Julia Kristeva notes in her Desire in Language, "not of a particular being or meaning, but of a signifying apparatus; it posits its own process as an undecidable process between sense and nonsense, between language and rhythm... between the symbolic and the semiotic" (135). Writing is made material, as Kristeva notes; thus, scriptural practice has been defiled and rendered other in opposition to the phonetic and discursive, and reserves for the text the position of other (58). Fraser creates rhythm by drawing together sound, the passage of time through sequences of sounds, and chromatic as well as textual space. Neither this rhythm nor its constituent parts is purely descriptive or representational; to be so would be to accede to historiography or a possessed pre-existing knowledge. Being outside representation, Fraser's rhythm exemplifies the chora: "Neither model nor copy, the chora precedes and underlies figuration and thus specularization, and is analogous to vocal or kinetic rhythm," writes Kristeva in Revolution in Poetic Language (26). Such a choric process, Kristeva further argues, must be restored on the level of the socialized body. "Etruscan Pages" enacts a pre-poetics. Fraser's poetic project in "Etruscan Pages" is to retrieve or re-engage the chora. It is the irruption or incompleteness of a syntactic ordering that maintains alterity or resists a homogeneity. From the vocal kinetic of "tomb hum," Fraser travels into the tomb's semiotic to regain what has been, in Kristeva's words, "repressed in the social mechanism: the generating of significance" (13):

tomb hum
where more than one dancer

lifts a muscular red thigh
or rests

head carved to wide bone enigma         (13)

Ostensibly, the journey into the tomb is a journey to the dead and to a dead language. However, Fraser contends that language is never dead in that it is always open and available to be read. It is in the practice of reading or generation that Fraser focuses her attentions. The double to the dancer is the text this passage concludes with:

at death
matched by carver
to any stone torso's likeness

inscribed with the hidden
particularity of one still alive

I am Larthia

first words

found                    (13)

What is intuitively recovered is assertion of presence without its representative or signified double. Through the declarative statement of being, language makes itself a presence. Furthermore, conjoined with the image of the dancer, the declarative "I am Larthia" frees the female body. Then, within this declaration, Fraser reads or over-writes a portraiture:

You lie there semi-recumbent

With extravagant, elongated
limbs and weight of belly falling
always more away
from us                       (14)

By interrupting the text with a gaping space, leaving "You lie there semi-recumbent" isolated and severed from its narrative descriptions the text insists on its own awareness of its physicality or "how" it is placed on the page. Yet, within this portraiture, Fraser registers the presence of death, where the body's weight turns "light and porous / as volcanic ash" (14).
        The following section, Urn Pictures, turns to ekphrasis to retrieve-or better, to read into being-this mystery of a lost culture. Fraser retrieves from the recesses of a museum Etruscan urns depicting erotic scenes. Set on the page in diagonal counter-positions, the sequences suggest urns as well as the gold page-sized rectangular plates covered with writing and "with nail holes distributed around the edges" described later in her letter to Susan. Whether as urns or tablets, Fraser's writing covers and re-covers the original while also attempting to create a structural and semiotic equivalent to the original. Each stanza or single line forms an isolated figure on the page's ground:

in squeeze of light
two women

one on her knees

in front of
the other standing

holding the lamp
to shine on

her lover's curiosity            (15)

The irruption of silence and space slows the temporal process of reading and seeing the whole. The interrupted lines in fact resist the notion of a total or complete understanding or perception. Reference becomes unstable-what, for example, does "curiosity" refer to, a state of being or a physical attribute?
        The suppression of these urns from public view is part of the semiotic condition of any ekphrastic approach: "In the same back room / another "Greek" vase (16). Any representation of eros is repressed and disowned: it is labeled "Greek" thus foreign and a contaminant. This would be also the condition of the feminine, as Fraser has argued throughout her career. In her 1985 presentation and later essay "The Tradition of Marginality," Fraser took exception to Johanna Drucker's argument that women who are experimental poets "should merge with 'the genderless project of literature'" (64) as well as with Nina Auerbach's fears that any movement that appears separatist will be appropriated, reduced and institutionalized by critics (64). Fraser invoked the necessity of retrieval of lost traditions and texts-"Poets who are unique though quite definitely not uniform, and who have consistently been neglected by academic, mainstream, feminist, and avant-garde critics" (64). Questions of exclusivity are countered with the insistence that what appears as a process of exclusion is in fact an opening of or a making available possibility.
        The Etruscan urns, whose erotic images reflect a choric rhythm, become transposed with Fraser's critique of her culture in general and the poetic community in specific. For Fraser, to read the Etruscans is to also read a history of women and the assault on their daily life. Urn Pictures closes with the horrific vision: "Rome's greed for metals / / melting her down" (17). The monostich "melting her down" conflates Etruscan funerary statues, Etruscan culture, and women destroyed by Rome, the classical example of imperialism. "Etruscan Pages" thus locates traces of the past to reveal the fragility of presence.


The inclusion of letters, diary notes, and faux-epistolary is found throughout Fraser's work beginning with her 1980 collection Each Next. "Etruscan Pages" includes two letters to close women friends, which were written during the research and composition of the poem. The letters posit a personal narrative as well as excavate a personal space in the formal production of a poem.
        The letters invoke the epistolary form found historically in novels, particularly those of women, and further suggest a resistence to silencing despite the interruptive quality, indeed its very definition, of the epistolary form. Fraser states that "The compositional strategy of interruption itself seemed, for me, an extremely accurate description of female daily life, therefore marking the shape of female thought: the disruptive human needs and actions that assault one through the day, as one is trying to develop an idea or complete a project, and the assumption that one can be interrupted; and further, the average female's habituated availability to interruption as her response, almost as if there were no choice as part of its makeup" (Hogue 9). This interruptive strategy becomes a kinetic process in Fraser's poetry, ranging from the positioning of lines in the space of the page to the inclusion of epistolary openings, which incorporate the daily rhythms of women, a shifting of textual space, and a repositioning of the reader's relation to the text.
        Fraser also problematizes the authenticity of the letters, revealing in her interview with Cynthia Hogue, that while the letter to Susan was 'real,' the letter to her Italian friend Annalisa was fictional. The latter was included because of her work on Olson, Creeley, and Duncan (thus positing a genealogy and an overlay or linkage to their rich correspondence) and "because I knew that she would be very interested in this whole thing; it gave me a chance to speak narratively, as a more relaxed counterpoint to the extremely compressed poetic language used to track the inarticulate aspects of this experience, and to notate the exact physicality of the landscape" (Hogue 7). The poem embraces the letters, nonetheless there is marked difference between the language of a section such as the Prologo or Urn Pictures and the letters as she suggests through the use of the term "poetic language." Is Fraser implicitly accepting Kristeva's position regarding "poetic language" as standing "in opposition to spoken language, a language whose basic purpose is communication"? Neither limited to the literary genre of poetry nor including all poetry, Leon Roudiez elaborates Kristeva's use of "poetic language": "it stands for the infinite possibilities of language, and all other language acts are merely partial realizations of the possibilities inherent in 'poetic language.'
        From such a point of view, 'literary practice is seen as exploration and discovery of the possibilities of language; as an activity that liberates the subject from a number of linguistic, psychic, and social networks; as a dynamism that breaks up the inertia of language habits and grants linguists the unique possibility of studying the becoming of the significations of signs'" (2-3). Fraser's implicit enactment of this differing suggests a separation from many poetic practices-both mainstream and experimental—that seek the erasure of difference or the complete refutation of difference through the use of "ordinary," "flat," or "plain" language. Fraser's insistence on "poetic language" parallels her recovery of the "feminine" or choric in language as well as suggesting an ideological divide that marks herself off from those who posit language's primacy is communication so that language itself becomes transparent. It may be because Fraser does insist on a "poetic language" that Marjorie Perloff does not then consider Fraser in the context of Wittgenstein's interrogations of language. In fact, Fraser's work tends to blur the resistance Perloff has in regard to distinctions between language use posited for example by Roman Jakobsen or Stanley Fish. Fraser's poetics clearly illustrate, however, what Perloff sees as "poetic 'uniqueness' in our postromantic age" is a "sensitivity to the language pool on which the poet draws in re-creating and redefining the world as he or she has found it"; hence poetry "functions as a heightened form of social and cultural critique" (187). Nonetheless, Fraser's choric lyricism insists on difference, which must underpin the presence or possibility of a writing that is in its relational and kinetic and contingent and self-reflexive elements feminine. The inclusion of the letters to Annalisa and Susan, despite their differing status, points to the process of the making of the poem: the letters act as footnotes and records. The letters themselves deploy collage as do the sections of compressed gestural language, for they include travelogues, citations from Lawrence and Stevens, reconstructed conversations, diagrams, research notes, recounted dreams, and snippets of gossip. The letters comprise a heterogeneous range of language that is also a counterpoint to the semantically constrained but syntactically complex compression found in the "poetic language." Inserted in the poem and bracketing the center section Norchia, the letters are released from an explicit causal reading: they become further texts, contexts, or places of conjecture. They also reassert the personal correspondence between herself and the Etruscan landscape and history. The letters also exist in a ruptured state themselves for they have no reciprocating correspondence. Their reception goes unmarked; indeed they are only a trace of a larger implied correspondence.
        If the letters are an interruption and an opening up of a new, differing textual space, a brief note on Fraser's use of the parenthetical aside in "Etruscan Pages" is also in order. In particular, the two asides that refer to a film's soundtrack (in the Prologo and in Ponte dell'Abbadia) form another interruption that initially seems to impose an impasse. The first aside, introduced outside the parenthesis by the phrase "Feeling around for something lost. . . ," suggests that human memory perhaps holds more than personal memory: cultural, environmental, and species memories are also embedded. The soundtrack of the film is indeed a tracking or tracing back to another rhythm-that of the perceived landscape or textual echo-that corresponds to the poem's tracking back and into the ground or into what has been ostensibly sealed off, whether in tombs or in museums. In the second aside, Fraser writes, "I feared the music, in retrospect... As if it were foretelling everything coming toward me . . . paths moving with choral inevitability towards all I would love and finally lose . . . my own path calling me" (30). Rather than an impasse or an arbitrarily inserted aside, the parenthetical meditation surfaces Fraser's elegiac mode that is directed toward her self. Whereas the poem compresses language so as to release the poet's self as the authorizing voice and the letters point to a relational ethic, these two brief asides denote the poet coming to elegize herself. As an elegy, "Etruscan Pages" follows a path that leads Fraser, in part, underground like Dante or as in classical epics, the event of nekyia, where the hero journeys to the dead or lost and thereby gains new understanding.

Between the two letters Fraser has placed the section Norchia, which returns to some of the images and landscapes of the Prologo. Indeed, the opening lines provide a gloss of the earlier mutation of mare/mar and is a record of the poet's erring the Etruscan letter into image, movement, poem:

         The letter A is a plow
(Mare pulling into mare)
     Horse plowing sea

                               Was A
you made and
        Unmade your mind . . .

first hesitation

       when you doubted
     what you
           thought you
                    looking for?                  (20)

The poem makes and unmakes itself: each line is both movement and hesitation. Here Fraser meditates upon origins: "Was A / where you made and /unmade your mind" she asks, locating the poem's source in the physicality of a letter. The letter is read first iconically as a plow. The physical letter literally opens up language as found in the lines that follow this segment: "alpha. aslant. alien. appal. answer. anodic. alum. A." (21). De Certeau's comments on mystic speech, particularly that of St. John of the Cross, illuminates Fraser's process:
        The poem-a cadenced repetition, "generative palilogy," subtle glossolalia-does not stop at deconstructing meaning and making music: it is what allows the very production of meaning. The "taste for echoes" awakened by the poem leads one "to seek a semantic connection between elements nothing binds together semantically"; it makes possible the indefinite prolongation of this semantical research as an echo effect. It says nothing. It permits saying. (99)

The iconic reading of the letter A shifts to a phonetic, sounded reading: "mare pulling into mare." The "a" of mare is elongated through that wonderful physical action of pulling (into being) the long "a" of "mare." Fraser's generative listings, which are demonstrations of "semantical research as an echo effect,"are generated from an iconic reading of the transcribed Etruscan word. Placed as separate segments on the page, the generated lists and the Etruscan word are in a relational position rather than in a causal equation, for the generated lists precede the originary and iconic. The paliologic or repetition of "red paint or black," which often follows transcribed Etruscan words, echoes the red painted dancers found on the tomb walls, the Etruscan woman dancing before the young Roman men, as well as Fraser's own archival research noted in her letter to Susan: "I began assembling evidence after that, scratching with my red and black ink down the pages of the new ledger you'd given me. . . all fragmentary . ." (26). Provisional and never complete, Fraser uncovers the hesitation before meaning and intention: "'we know what each mark is equal to, but in retrospect. . .'" she writes, collaging a Lawrence quotation into a response to the transcribed Etruscan word (21).
        The poem's phonic precision extends to a precise and minute observation of the landscape: "another progression of ants across dry mud ruts . . . deliberate burdens through the temporal" (22). An acute awareness of the temporal-and hence transitory-develops in Norchia. Fraser compresses the temporal span to that most liminal of places, the tomb's entrance:

Lava revetments
retain precipitous bluffs—

(ashlars compose a frame for each entering dead one)

Lintel of their own Alpha                             (23)

The text becomes an entry: the tomb and the letter merge iconically. If mystic speech rises "in proximity to a loss" and is a "historical trope for that loss," to cite De Certeau (80), then through her hesitations, the traversing journey, the trope of error, and the repetition of looking into what has been dismissed as "nothing," Fraser's process moves toward, in part, a mystic speech.

In the concluding passage of Norchia, Fraser places this monostich: "Leaves are massing, green speeding up" (25). The parallel construction of this line, with its caesural pause, creates an urgency, for even in the most acutely noted moments of presence there is the process of vanishing. The final two sections of "Etruscan Pages," Vulci and Ponte dell'Abbadia combine the historical effacement of one culture by another ("Etruscan foundation, Roman arch"), the transience of nature ("Trees in slow motion fall to / stagnate puddles' original green leaking"), and the private urgency to record or last beyond one's vanishing ("Make copies, please / of each framed motion"). All this is, in Fraser's words, "calling up grief" (30). Grief echoes throughout the poem:
Grief is simple and dark

as this bridge or hidden field
where something did exist once

and may again, or
your face receding behind the window

a possible emptying              (33)

This passage, which contains an echo of her letter to Susan ("Today-exactly a week since your face went by inside the window of a cab" [26]), exerts a lyricism that at least on the surface seems conventional. In testing limitations or boundaries of knowledge, position, and language, the lyric is but one direction or proposition. Indeed, Fraser's earlier lines from "re:searches" illuminates her lyricism: "lyric forever error . . . this / language we come up against" (Il cuore 82). In this earlier poem that re-searches the mutiliation of Dickinson's letters and fragments of Anakreon, lyricism then is error that allows openings that are otherwise resisted by the language and social strictures of authority. While the passage from "Etruscan Pages" is in its lyricism a consolidation of a self or presence recognizing loss, it is also set into a relational field of other language constructions: "The car plows through groundhold of tumuli / temple rubble abandon / anodic slate light" (When New Time 32). Highly stressed and physical, the final two lines of this passage, which immediately precedes Fraser's lyric monoglossia, recall Susan Howe's visionary, stressed lines that chronicle "Articulation of Sound Forms in Time": "Crumbled masonry windswept hickory" (Howe 38). The lyric interruption becomes another error that both locates presence and unsettles boundaries. Like Howe, Fraser in "Etruscan Pages" is an archivist and visionary who writes in the physicality of the moment and the corrosive and celebratory histories that in-form that moment:
Mulberry smeared clover
covers an entire field

Invisible beds
where once stagnant shallows bred malarial cells

Before that

dancers                               (34)

Echoing earlier passages that allude to the malarial Vulci where Romans effaced Etruscan art as well as mined copper and melted down artifacts at the cost of human life and expression, Fraser concludes by attempting to recover dancers, and in their motion and plenitude, the choric and feminine.



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New Shoes. New York: Harper, 1978.
______. "'Things That Do Not Exist Without Words.'" Talisman 9 (1992): 144-49.
______. "'This Phrasing Unreliable Except as Here.'" Talisman 13 (1994-1995): 209-18.
______. "The Tradition of Marginality." Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition. Ed. Sharon Bryan. New York: Norton, 1993: 52-65.
______. When New Time Folds Up. Minneapolis: Chax, 1993.

Hogue, Cynthia. "An Interview With Kathleen Fraser." Contemporary Literature 39.1 (1998): 1-26.

Howe, Susan. Singularities. Hanover: Wesleyan UP, 1990.

Kinnahan, Linda. Poetics of the Feminine: Authority and Literary Tradition in William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Denise Levertov and Kathleen Fraser. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.

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_______. Revolution in Poetic Language. Trans. Margaret Waller. New York: Columbia UP, 1984.

Perloff, Marjorie. Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1996.

Rich, Adrienne. On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978. New York: Norton, 1979.

Roudiez, Leon S. "Introduction." Revolution in Poetic Language.

Spiegelman, Willard. The Didactic Muse: Scenes of Instruction in Contemporary American Poetry. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1989.

Williams, William Carlos. Autobiography. New York: Random, 1951.


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