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the clarity of distant things
Categories: 21st Century, American, Caribbean, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Due Sep 2021)
'Her poems are voyages of discovery. Literally. Over and over she writes about the journeys, physical and metaphysical, that are transformative experiences.' So wrote Sarah Maguire of Jane Duran, whose new book's two striking sequences take readers into other worlds, 'gridlines', in which the life and paintings of Agnes Martin are interwoven, and 'miniatures of al-Andalus' inspired by the medieval Galician-Portuguese Cantigas de Santa María and artworks and artefacts of the period.
The simple gridlines of Duran's couplets recall Martin's square canvasses, her precisely rendered grids and luminous stripes. Responding to individual images and to Martin's own biography, discovering lovely breaths of life entering the 'grey rectangles', the poems' intricate interlockings and brilliant images seem almost to escape the poems' formal enclosures, so that Martin's 'The Peach 1964', 'gave me back // only beige, graphite, / ink, sanity // and orchard after orchard'.
'Full of beauty and perception, these unusually supple responses seem to reach, in their open-endedness, for the infinite. Jane Duran shows a deep knowledge and engagement with the terrain in both complementary sequences. These are exquisite poems: 'Each one, clarified / true in miniature'.'
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