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This article is taken from PN Review 220, Volume 41 Number 2, November - December 2014.

Reading Eavan Sapphire
I am pitched to a powerful place:
home:
homes we are warred out of, talked out of, written by omission out of – beaten out of:

‘My grandmother lived outside history. And she died there…
Did she find her Nation? And does it matter?’

If the poet hadn’t written would it have mattered? What does it take to make those who didn’t matter matter? Matter: Middle English MATERE, from Old French MATERE, MATIERE, from Latin material, matter, subject, physical substance, wood for building, from MATER mother…

What has the poet done when she asks:

If what was not said was never seen
If what was never seen could not be known

Elie Wiesel talks to millions on Oprah about Nazis throwing babies into the fire
The poet Natalie Handal talks to me from occupied Palestine in e-mail:
Sister after seeing a burnt baby
what else is left? What else? 7/19/147:36:38 PM

What has writing made except a writer?

On my sister’s death certificate a middle name appears, I go to correct it thinking something about veracity, official, it should be accurate. What’s to be accurate? She is dead, a wasn’t, a disappeared, no funeral no nothing: now a name, Rose, appears.

What does Eavan do when she says:

Not a word not a word
Not a word not a word

The secrets our lives were/are ruled by? The silences of hearth, of state. How ...


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