poetr y Steve Gehrke "`As soon as man comes to life,' Heidegger says, `he is at once old enough to die.' This realization is central to the poems in my new manuscript, Prologue, Epilogue, and in particular to the poem `The Evaporating Braid.' If we are--as the speaker in these poems is--without the comfort of religious belief, then how do we impart an understanding of mortality to our children? And how do we keep them from being crippled by the anxiety this knowledge can create? There are other themes in these poems--inheritance, parenthood, divorce--and it's my hope that the themes are woven together in a way that creates an overall sense of the speaker's experience rather than a set of ideas. "`Beyond the Horizon' comes out of an ongoing obsession with the life and work of the playwright Eugene O'Neill. By interweaving my own past with O'Neill's, I'm attempting both to collapse the borders of identity and to suggest that artistic identity can at times supersede personal identity. Like some of the other poems in my manuscript, `Beyond the Horizon' moves back and forth in time and space, between my life and O'Neill's, between the action in the
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Jul 22, 2011
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