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This article is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

Put Off That Mask
Trauma, Persona and Authenticity in Denise Riley’s ‘A Part Song’
Sinéad Morrisey
This is the text of the 2018 StAnza Lecture

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of lyric runs as follows:
Of or pertaining to the lyre; adapted to the lyre, meant to be sung; pertaining to or characteristic of song. Now used as the name for short poems (whether or not intended to be sung), usually divided into stanzas or strophes, and directly expressing the poet’s own thoughts and sentiments.

It is this latter contention that the lyric, via an authentic and honest ‘I’-voice speaker, directly expresses the poet’s own thoughts and sentiments which I’d like to investigate further. And I’d like to do so with a double caveat. First, that the subject I’ve chosen is both so broad and so fundamental to the art of poetry that it is impossible to speak definitely on this subject. Second, that I myself am in a conflicted relationship, not with an ‘I’-voice in poetry per se, but with an ‘I’-voice in poetry which ‘directly [expresses my] own thoughts and sentiments’, with the notion of what might be termed a transparent ‘I’. To be in a conflicted relationship with a transparent ‘I’ is not to be necessarily – or not always – antagonistic to it. It is to be alert, on the one hand, to the aesthetic and ethical pitfalls of the use of a transparent ‘I’ in poetry, and, on the other, to be nevertheless aware, indeed at times in awe of, its captivating force.

In her temporary role as editor of Poetry Ireland Review, Vona Groarke, as part of her final editorial, answered a set of questions which she herself had set upcoming Irish poets in her previous edition, The Rising Generation. One of these questions concerned the use of ‘I’: ‘You’re given a choice: either every poem or no poem you write from now on must use the word ‘I’. Which do you choose?’ Groarke answered: ‘Every poem. “I” is probably the most dangerous and dynamic word at a poet’s disposal. Introduce it into a poem and the game changes instantly. But I can see why people are wary of it, it’s such a sly little thing. Two-faced. Half the time, it’s not even interested in itself, it’s just throwing shapes.’

So why is ‘I’ ‘probably the most dangerous and dynamic word at a poet’s disposal?’ I think a couple of obvious things ought to be stated at this point, both of which contradict each other, and both of which are true. In 1993 the Australian poet Les Murray published Translations from the Natural World, of which the middle section, ‘Presence: Translations from the Natural World’, purports to ‘translate’ the discreet languages of various living organisms – an echidna, a yard horse, a strangler fig – into recognisable human speech. The forms and vocabularies of the individual poems in this sequence appear as bespoke, built from the bottom up to accommodate the unique thingness of each subject in question: the snailness of a snail, the pigness of a pig, and so on. Apart from such technical and linguistic bravura, the sequence also, perhaps necessarily, involves a varied and complex deployment of personal pronouns. In Murray’s formulation of cow-consciousness, for example, the personal pronoun a cow uses is ‘all me’:
All me standing on feed, move the feed inside me.

And when ‘me’ on its own occurs, it can be any other cow within the herd, as well as the one purportedly speaking the poem:
One me smells of needing the bull, that heavy urgent me,
The back-climber, who leaves me humped, straining, but light
and peaceful again, with crystalline moving inside me.
    (Les Murray, ‘The Cows on Killing Day’)

By contrast, pigs, whom Murray similarly understands as having a plural consciousness, would nevertheless speak in a more abrasive form of personal pronoun, bristling with violence. Hence: “Us all fuckers then. And Big, huh? Tusked / the balls-biting dog and gutsed him wet. / Us shoved down the soft cement of rivers.” (Les Murray, ‘Pigs’). Throughout the Translations, Murray playfully explores the expressive possibilities of mutated forms of the ‘I’-voice, and in so doing seemingly erases his own self completely from each ‘translated’ utterance. Here we appear to be witness to a genuine imaginative engagement with the ‘other’ at the expense of the human self, the transparent ‘I’-voice of the conventional lyric, in poems about animal food, sleep, sex and execution in abattoirs, which expand the possibilities of the poem as an art form.

Or do they? In an interview with the Paris Review, Murray stresses the personal, subjective qualities of writing, when he states: ‘Readers can take for granted that whoever or whatever a lyric poem is about, it’s also about the writer’. He goes on: ‘lyric poetry is so thoroughly understood as being subjective that you can use any pronoun you like’. Describing himself as a ‘high-performing Asperger’, Murray confesses he has always felt more at home in the natural world than in the human: ‘I’m not very good at human relations, and it took me a terribly long time to deal easily with people. Even now I use expressions like “the humans”. I used that when I was a kid to distinguish between myself and other people.’

No matter how much we may long to escape the tyrannies of an ‘I’-inflected consciousness, we can’t, because everything we do is expressive of our core nature: our physical demeanour, our clothes, our handwriting, and especially the words that come out of our head and which we place, in our chosen order, on a white page. This appears to be obviously true of a poet such as Sylvia Plath, whose poem ‘Elm’, reputedly written in the voice of the tree itself, includes the lines: ‘I know the bottom… I know it with my great tap root. It is what you fear. I do not fear it. I have been there.’ The voice of this poem is clearly at one with the plethora of other agonised ‘I’-voice statements in Plath’s Ariel poems. In a way, a poem like ‘Elm’ could be described as the opposite of Murray’s poem ‘Strangler Fig’ – not an engagement with an elm tree per se, and on its own terms, but an appropriation of the world outside the self for the purposes of a kind of ravenous self-expression. And yet Murray’s own explicit connection between his peculiar neurological make-up and his deliberately dehumanised portraits of animals and plants betrays an equally self-expressive poetic. And, of course, the translations are just Murray after all. He isn’t Dr Doolittle. ‘Pigs’, ‘Goose to Donkey’ and ‘The Cows on Killing Day’ are all elaborate sleights-of-hand Plath doesn’t even bother with. Rather than epitomising a humble engagement with what is external to the self, an honouring of the other, you might see the Translations instead as an act of gargantuan poetic egotism, in which Murray has the Alpha-male audacity to set himself up as the lone interpreter of the natural world for the benefit of a readership less privileged, perhaps even – given his conversion to Roman Catholicism and his dedication of the Translations to ‘the Glory of God’ – less ordained, than himself.

Diametrically opposed to the notion that we cannot help but express ourselves, even when we try not to, is the incontrovertible fact that there’s no such thing as a transparent ‘I’-voice in poetry to begin with. As Emily Dickinson, master of the dynamic ‘I’ throwing shapes in a poem, puts it in one of her letters: ‘When I state myself, as the Representative of the verse, it does not mean – me – but a supposed person.’ We could pull the rug out further still, as with the Buddhists, and reject the existence of a stable self itself, because our personalities are not fixed but in flux, and subject to radical alteration at any moment. Any anyway, the poem is a transmuting force-field all its own. Drop an ‘I’ into its odd and tightly bounded territory and all sorts of unexpected things happen. Yeats claimed that ‘a poet always writes out of his personal life’, but that ‘he is never the bundle of accident and incoherence that sits down to breakfast’. And if a fixed sense of ourselves is a narrative we actively construct, day by day, how much more so is the ‘I’-voice in our poems a constructed and duplicitous thing, expressed through the metaphor for existence which is all of human language, and as inevitably separate from the maker as a mask or a ventriloquist’s dummy? It is a dazzling fiction. It makes all kinds of voyeuristic promises. It is a mendacious hook, this ‘sly little thing of an I’, offering a reward, premised on emotional truth, which it cannot deliver because it isn’t, and can never be, a trustworthy conduit.

Such irreconcilable paradoxes concerning the ‘I’ voice have been inherent in lyric poetry since its inception, but they have become dramatically more apparent in the digital age, in which our dominant modes of interaction with the external world are all, remorselessly and addictively, centred on the self. It is a strange enough desire to wish to capture what we happen to be looking at in a photograph. And even without ourselves in the frame, there is a heady mix of appropriation, subjugation and hubris in the act of photographing what we see, as we turn the external world into something we can carry in our pocket, thereby arresting the flow of time and the inevitability of death. How much stranger is the selfie, in which the eye of the camera is reversed on the photographer, and wherever they happen to be standing reduced to a backdrop? We have literally become our own relentless focus, stranded, like Narcissus, by his pool – here are my shoes today, here is my lunch, here are my immediate and unmediated thoughts on X-subject – as the demarcation lines between public and private disintegrate and the addictive force of encountering our own reflection everywhere we look proves game-changing in every domain.

Nothing is as electric as an ‘I’ in a poem. Get it right, and you tender an offer to the reader to enter the world of your poem via the connecting door of reader + ‘I’ identification. ‘I’s in poems are undoubtedly recreated in our own image every time we read them. We all know what having an ‘I’ is like. Indeed, as human beings abroad in a frequently hostile and unstable environment, an ‘I’ is without question our most treasured possession. But being an ‘I’ can also be a terrifying experience in which we find ourselves isolated, vulnerable, ill-equipped. In the validation we seek and the factions we form, looking for help with our ‘I’-ness is something we can’t help doing. And in the poems we read as much as in the lives we lead outside our reading experience, we need all the company we can get. Drop an ‘I into a poem and everything changes because no other word proffers an equivalent hypercharged invitation to self-identify.

‘I have struggled all my life to never / write about the pepper mill’ declares the speaker in Frances Leviston’s poem, ‘To All Intents and Purposes’; and thereby sets an inevitable set of questions rolling through the reader’s head. Why have you struggled? Why the pepper mill? How do the pepper mill and this lifelong struggle against it connect? We don’t believe for a second that the poet Frances Leviston has struggled all her life to never write about the pepper mill, that as a toddler, say, (this is a poem in a debut collection by a very young poet after all) she engaged with such a struggle, or that every other poem in her collection Public Dream is the site of this struggle victorious. Rather this statement’s very impossibility, its hyperbolic logic-defying contrariness, is precisely what arrests us. The word ‘I’ invites us here, not to step in front of a mirror, but to step into another world, one in which the ordinary rules of play are suspended, and this poem does indeed function as a kind of roller-coaster ride through unexpected, lateral associations, from the Industrial Revolution to suicide.

Where is the sincerity in this, however, and does sincerity matter?


Denise Riley’s ‘A Part Song’ is a thirteen-page poem in interlocking sections which won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2015. ‘A Part Song’ relates directly to the questions I’ve been asking so far about intimate revelation in poetry and its value, and I believe negotiates, with enviable skill, between the need to articulate the experience of traumatic personal loss on the one hand, and the impossibility of doing so on the other.

This very impossibility has several dimensions. There is the impossibility of language itself, and especially of lyric language, to console: the Saussurian gap between reality and language is acknowledged and vast, while lyric poetry itself is presented as increasingly redundant (‘Dark little Abbott on your rock, / You will have to speak louder than that. / These days the congregation is a long way out’, as Robert Minhinnick puts it in his poem ‘Shag’). There is furthermore the impossibility of the ‘I’ voice functioning as an effective correlative of the aggrieved poet, not merely because the ‘I’ in any poem is always a supposed person, but because grief itself obliterates coherent selfhood. ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better’, urged Samuel Beckett, and ‘A Part Song’ is so striking because it consistently acknowledges the impossibility of its own ambition – to reanimate the dead. At the same time, and bound up with its urge to expose its own mission as doomed, this poem searingly articulates the experience of grief and stands as a monumental early twenty­-first-century elegy. As Stephen Burt puts it: ‘Throughout the book the dead-level, understated, broken-hearted and demotic make their peace with the counter-intuitive and nearly abstruse: it is as if Riley had worked all the way through the storm of poststructuralist critique of voice and lyric and so on and discovered them, after the rain, still standing.’

‘A Part Song’ is an address to Riley’s son who died before the publication of Say Something Back. There is perhaps no more traumatic experience imaginable than that of a parent losing a child, and a number of contemporary poetry collections attempt to articulate parental grief. Say Something Back could be read alongside US poet Mary Jo Bang’s 2007 collection, Elegy, for example, also an address to a dead son (both Riley’s and Bang’s sons died as adults), and winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award in Poetry. Or alongside Rebecca Goss’s Forward-Prize shortlisted collection, Her Birth, from 2013, also about parental grief though in this case resulting from the forewarned and inevitable death of a daughter in infancy. With such raw emotional material as the basis of ‘A Part Song’, the stage is pre-set for an intense reader + ‘I’-voice identification, premised on – to return to the definition of lyric with which I began – ‘the direct expression of the poet’s own thoughts and feelings’, and a reader seeking help with her ‘I’-ness – or, to state it less kindly, indulging in the pleasure of watching another’s pain. The achievement of ‘A Part Song’ inheres in the way it eschews such easy (and questionable) transparent ‘I’ + reader identification from the outset, while still constituting a heart-breaking lament. ‘A Part-Song’ convinces us that Riley does indeed ‘know the bottom’; that she herself has travelled back from the underworld of grief in order to speak of it. Say Something Back in this context is not only an urgent imperative to the dead to speak; it also constitutes the act of managing to say something back out of the maw of self-annihilating bereavement.

A short lyric opens Say Something Back and appears just before ‘A Part Song’ entitled ‘Maybe; maybe not’. It echoes First Corinthians: ‘When I was a child I spake as a child’ in the lines: ‘When I was a child I spoke as a thrush, I / thought as a clod, I understood as a stone, / but when I became a man I put away / plain things for lustrous’. In ‘when I became a man’ Riley deploys an obviously non self-referential personal pronoun from the collection’s very outset and alerts us to the possibility that the dualism of this poem’s title will open multiple interpretative possibilities in what follows: maybe this is me speaking; maybe it’s not; maybe the power of lyric can make the dead speak back, maybe it can’t. First Corinthians proffers the possibility of transparent communication in the sanctified light of being one-with-Christ: ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face’ and Riley deliberately subverts this promise with imagery of mud and obfuscation: ‘yet to this day / squat under hooves for kindness where / fetlocks stream with mud – shall I never / get it clear, down in the soily waters.’ The world we are about to enter in the poem that follows is prefigured here as riven with irreconcilable opposites – as one in which the relationship between author, speaker, and reader is both mutable and unclear.

In keeping with the complexity prefigured here, the title itself, ‘A Part Song’, may mean many things – for example ‘part’ as in ‘partly finished’, ‘ragged’, ‘bitty’ – a one-sided argument, waiting, in vain, for the response it expends so much energy trying to provoke. Technically it may refer to the fact that this is a song in parts (twenty parts to be precise); metaphorically that this is a song about the experience of being shattered into parts. In music, a part song is the term for a song composed for more than three voices. Towards the end of ‘A Part Song’, in the penultimate section, Riley confesses, echoing Eliot’s original title for ‘The Waste Land’, he do the police in different voices: ‘She do the bereaved in different voices / For the point of this address is to prod / And shepherd you back within range / Of my strained ears’.

So who are the different voices of ‘A Part Song’ and why does Riley use so many? Riley, in places, is undoubtedly present, and in transparent ‘I’-voice mode, as in: ‘I so want to join you.’ The son’s voice is mostly in the poem as an excruciating absence yet appears at the poem’s end, finally saying something back, though what he says is hardly consolatory: ‘My bone dust is faint choral / Under the fretful wave’. There is a speaker, watching and describing the aggrieved mother, who is depicted, often monstrously, in third-person: ‘Here’s a denatured thing, whose one eye rummages / Into the mound, her other eye swivelled straight up’. And there are other voices too, in quotation marks, who operate as a concerned but dim-witted chorus: ‘By now, she must have got over it.’ There are also multiple addressees: the dead son of course, yet more surprisingly, the poem opens with an admonishment of the lyric itself, berated for its in-built redundancy in the face of grief: ‘You principle of song, what are you for now / Perking up under any spasmodic light / To trot out your shadowed warblings?’ An ‘ardent bee’ is the addressee in part xi, and behind all of these addressees are all of the poem’s subsequent readers.

In T.S. Eliot’s lecture ‘The Three Voices of Poetry’ he states that poems addressed to one person are nevertheless always meant to be overheard by other people – that the lyric is innately capacious in terms of who can enter it. William Waters in his book Poetry’s Touch: On Lyric Address makes a different point: ‘it is in these cases where the addressee – grievously – cannot hear, that the act of address becomes most convincingly singular’. A dead beloved is the most obvious example of an addressee who ‘grievously cannot hear’, and there are moments of direct address throughout ‘A Part Song’ which appear to be unmediated either by additional speakers or by additional listeners, as in part xiv: ‘Dun blur of this evening’s lurch to / Eventual navy night. Yet another / Night, day, night, over and over. / I so want to join you.’ Or in x: ‘Even ten seconds’ worth of a sighting / Of you would help me get through / This better. With a camera running.’ Or in viii: ‘Here I sit poleaxed, stunned by your vanishing’. And it is indeed the simplicity of such direct statements which is part of their emotive efficacy. This is writing from across the gulf of a bereavement unimaginable to most readers, a clear voice articulating what it’s like. But it is also, very self-consciously, Riley re-enacting Orpheus with his Lyre, the origin of the lyric mode itself, returned from his sojourn in the underworld with his transgressive knowledge, and singing of it. ‘The only constant is a commitment to the thing that is song,’ as Riley herself has asserted.

One of the many lasting rewards of ‘A Part Song’ inheres in its very lack of a fixed speaker, addressee, register, emotion or form: indeed, the mutability inherent in its dance between sections is part of its point. In terms of lexis it veers wildly between Miltonian high lyric statement – ‘A Part Song’ is in conversation with the entire elegiac lyric tradition before it, and especially with Milton’s ‘Lycidas’ – ‘For the point of this address is to prod / And shepherd you back within range / Of my strained ears’ – and a more contemporary demotic: ‘Oh my dead son you daft bugger / This is one glum mum.’ Though none of its twenty sections is longer than the sonnet’s length of fourteen lines, there is no fixed pattern to how long each section is, nor is there any fixed rule about when rhyme is deployed. Because of each section’s brevity, like the bee described in section xi, ‘blundering / With downy saddlebags stuffed tight / All over the fuchsia’s drop earrings’, the touchdown within each section is minimal and – so the logic of this particular section goes – ultimately ineffective: ‘Blind diligence, / Bee, or idiocy – this banging on and on / Against such shiny crimson unresponse.’

Verbs and sometimes whole phrases are often left out of sentences, so that, within sections and across the poem as a whole, an impression is conveyed of the difficulty inherent in the act of speech itself under such circumstances. The first line of the second stanza of section i begins ‘Mince, slight pillar.’ – leaving readers to puzzle out to whom such a minimal cryptic statement is addressed and what it might mean. Section ii ends: ‘I make this note of dread, I register it. / Neither my note nor my critique of it / Will save us one iota. I know it. And.’ Section iii opens by answering a question that hasn’t been framed within the poem (‘Maybe a retouched photograph or memory, this beaming one with his striped snake-belt and eczema scabs…’). Such use of an amputated language speaks to the poem’s subject of a human life cut down in its prime and is a brilliantly inventive formal equivalent of grief. But it also asks its readers to do the active work of completing such sentences for themselves and, more generally, opens wide the dialogic possibilities of the poem so that it becomes, not just a one-sided conversation between a mother and her dead son, or between a frustrated poet and the lyric principle, but a dynamic and shared creative conversation between author and reader, acknowledged as such within the space of the poem itself. ‘A Part Song’ demands that we pay attention, specifically to its many gaps, silences and omissions, in sentences, within sections, and in the white space between sections, always threatening to swallow up the text it surrounds. By so doing, the poem pays its readers the complement of trust, and endlessly rewards re-reading.

Nevertheless, at the heart of ‘A Part Song’ is the blunt fact of a grief that never goes away, and a persistent maddening silence on the part of the beloved: ‘If my / Exquisite hope can wrench you right back / Here, resigned boy, do let it as I’m waiting.’ Riley ‘doing the bereaved in different voices’ is very different from Murray doing Australia in the different voices of its non-human inhabitants. Riley’s doomed attempt to re-conjure her son throughout ‘A Part Song’ is rendered sartorial in part vi, in which a speaker tries on various outfits in order to most appropriately demonstrate to an exterior public internal devastation. Nothing fits: ‘A wardrobe gapes, a mourner tries / Her several styles of howling-guise: // You’d rather not, yet you must go / Briskly around on beaming show / A soft black gown with pearl corsage / won’t assuage your smashed ménage.’ It is this acknowledged in-built redundancy of the attempt which is so moving, as though all of the superb craftsmanship of ‘A Part Song’ – the voices, the rhyme schemes, the forms, the metaphors (‘[a]rdent bee’), the tight metrical boxes of each section – are Riley throwing everything she can at the blunt fact of her grief in order to overcome it, and still failing. In this respect, the failure of artistry becomes the equivalent of sincere confession – ‘Here I sit poleaxed, stunned by your vanishing’ – which in turn – not because but in spite of formal prowess – becomes the poem’s emotional and emotive bedrock.

Is such direct expression of deepest grief, in fact, what we keep returning to ‘A Part Song’ for? Is this the same thing as the reader + transparent ‘I’ voice identification of which I spoke at the beginning of this lecture? Is it via such statements that Riley is most straightforward, honest, undressed even? Are we, as readers, in taking pleasure in such direct expression of deepest grief, at our most disturbingly voyeuristic?

The more I read ‘A Part Song’, the more I watch it shift radically between the difficult paradoxes it both expresses and generates, and the more apt the title of the preceding poem ‘Maybe; maybe not’ becomes. For after all of the relentless exposure of both her own artistry and the lyric principle itself as unfit for purpose, (‘It’s all a resurrection song. / Would it ever be got right / the dead could rush home / Keen to press their chinos’) the most unexpected voice of all happens at the poem’s end: the dead son speaks, and in italics, which throughout have been used to denote direct speech. The poem’s recurring hope is that by singing well, by giving a masterful performance, the dead can be made to say something back. Up to section 20, it hasn’t worked, but then, miraculously, it suddenly seems to have worked after all:
My sisters and my mother,
Weep dark tears for me
I drift as lightest ashes
Under a southern sea

O let me be, my mother
In no unquiet grave
My bone-dust is faint coral
Under the fretful wave

Nevertheless, this utterance is laden with so many other utterances – it carries echoes of both ‘Lycidas’ (‘he must not float upon his watery bier unwept’) and Shakespeare’s ‘Full fathom Five’ from the Tempest (‘of his bones are coral made’) – it cannot be taken at face value. The presence of italics might also alert the reader to the fact that this is merely Riley “trying on” another voice in the face of the son’s persistent silence as a final act of despair (or perhaps of acceptance). Because the voice is made up – and therefore not real – the language is not new, but inherited, as Frankenstein’s body parts are inherited – that other corpse reanimated, not by the magic of poetry, but by the magic of electricity.

So it’s as though, in the end, the point of the poem is to say that lyric is hopeless, except that it isn’t, except that it is, except that it isn’t, and so on. An infinity mirror, rather than offering transparency (‘now face to face’) consists of two mirrors positioned opposite each other, thereby creating the illusion of infinite distance. ‘A Part Song’, as it shifts from foot to foot, resembles an infinity mirror: as a reader I do indeed feel I shall ‘never get it clear, down in the soily waters’ – there is so much space and so many switches to navigate.

I’d like to finish with a final look at an aspect of the poem which offers a way out of the simplistic honesty/artifice dualism. In a later poem of the collection, ‘Listening for lost people’, Riley concludes: ‘The souls of the dead are the spirit of language: / you hear them alight inside that spoken thought.’ As a philosopher, Riley has written extensively about the power inherent in language to express things beyond the capability or even intention of the speaker. In the introduction to her critical study of this phenomenon, Impersonal Passion, Language as Affect, she writes:
It’s not just a matter of the unspoken ‘implications’ of what’s said, but something stronger: of how language as the voice of its occasion can also inflect its speakers.

Laments, rhetorical questions, exonerations, comedies of verbal inhibition, and clichés […] – these all exert themselves as ordinary effects which are, though, no mere embellishments or overtones on top of their speaker’s intentions: they can even outrun them. Or they can make their speakers sentiments virtually irrelevant.

This idea of being played by language itself turns the poet, not into Orpheus, but into the lyre, and in section xii, Riley muses on this very possibility, wondering if ‘the noise / Rolling through me’ is in fact her being ventriloquised by her dead son:
Outgoing soul, I try to catch
You calling over the distances
Though your voice is echoey,

Maybe tuned out by the noise
Rolling through me – or is it
You orchestrating that now,

Who’d laugh at the thought
Of me being sung in by you
And being kindly dictated to.

If the souls of the dead are the spirit of language, not just for the bereaved but for everyone, it ultimately doesn’t matter whether we think we’re wearing a mask or not – writing becomes more a case of tuning in, than of original creation. Our task is to fine-wire all of our receivers to get it right. 

This article is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this article to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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