Book of thisness, book of withness, book of now: Kristen Case's Little Arias meticulously situates a woman's consciousness in the immediacy of relation: with language, objects, other people, and the present tense. There is in these poems a marvelous fullness to each relation recorded, rendered so by the author's belief 'That a sentence might become a habitable room into which others might wander and in which certain moods, certain thoughts, certain ghosts of the possible might find form.' What makes this book so poignant, however, is its fierce commitment to also recording moods and thoughts that at first would seem to negate relation: absence, loss, and solitude all find their place here, paradoxically, as part of possibility, the fullness of being in the world. To read this intelligent, wise book is 'to have swallowed an openness' that starts at the heart. Brian Teare"
- Paperback | 81 pages
- 149.86 x 213.36 x 10.16mm | 204.12g
- 05 May 2016
- Western Michigan University, New Issues Press
- United States
Other books in this series
"Hypomnema is a Greek word for which there is no equivalent in English, commonly translated as "note" or even "notebook. For Michel Foucault, and for Kristen Case, hyponemata is a "material record of things read, heard, or thought" to help "establish a relationship of oneself with oneself." While only the final section of Case's beguiling Little Arias bears the title "Hypomnema," the concept serves as an ordering principle for the entire collection; itself a recording of quotes, ideas, observations, and exercises the poet has assembled to help bring the self into right relation with language, knowledge, the world, and perhaps most elusively, the self itself. Divided into six dissimilar but related sections, Little Arias, simultaneously draws on and problematizes the linguistic roots of aria. On one hand Case's tight poems (almost always delivered in the first person) do feel like small songs sung inwardly and quietly between the symbol crashes of the wide world and its chorus of voices. However, where operatic arias are all about the solo, Case prefers the duo. Her arias enter into conversation with philosophers, writers, children, and most often, memory. Memory is both self and not-self, both voice and not-voice; and yet, as poets, we re-make it all the time. Case explores this concept masterfully in the elegantly haunting "Miscarriage" and "Being with One Absent." But she is at her best when mixing memory and influence in the quote-inspired segment of twelve poems, entitled "Twelve Sentences." Austere and loving, monistic and dialogic, the poems of Little Arias are more than mere songs, they are recordings designed to endure."--Dean Rader "Kenyon Review" (1/1/2016 12:00:00 AM)
About Kristen Case
KRISTEN CASE is the author of the critical study American Pragmatism and Poetic Practice: Crosscurrents from Emerson to Susan Howe (Camden House, 2011). Her poems have appeared in Chelsea, The Brooklyn Review, Pleiades, Saint Ann's Review, The Iowa Review, Wave Composition, and Eleven Eleven. Her chapbook, Temple, was published by MIEL Books in 2014. She is the editor of The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies and co-editor of Thoreau at Two-Hundred: Essays and Reassessments, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. She has published several articles on Thoreau, and has also written on Pound, Frost, Stevens, and others. She lives in Temple, Maine and teaches American literature at the University of Maine at Farmington.