Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The city is movement

"This city is beauty," Dionne Brand says in Thirsty. In fact it is the first line of the book. Here is the first stanza:
This city is beauty
unbreakable and amorous as eyelids,
in the streets, pressed with fierce departures,
submerged landings,
I am innocent in thresholds
and smashed night birds, lovesick,
as empty elevators
Hear Brand read from Thirsty. I wish I could link you to an audio file of her reading from No Language is Neutral, a poem that for me, is one of the most important poems to be published in Canada in the past few decades.
If I were to write such a poem about New York the first line would have to be "this city is movement." And so it is.

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