Thursday, February 22, 2007

Carolyn Forché's The Angel of History

This is a tough poem/book. It is a book-length series of poems. It is thin, only 62 poems, just a couple of them spanning more than a page and one a single line. She touches on the crises/disasters of Lebannon, Paris, Chernobyl, the Holocaust, El Salvador, Hiroshima, Women's treatment, and the CCCP invasion of surrounding territories.

Reading through the first time was disorienting. I was always confused. She alludes to all these conflicts and I had trouble picking up on when/where we were. But at the end of it I thought, that was a great book. It affected me very deeply but I had no idea how. This week being the four year anniversary of genocide in Darfur, I thought it appropriate to discuss this book in length, trying to find out how she made me feel so deep.

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