Searching for what is just out of reach leads us in another direction to look into. Such is the impression generated by Edward Carson’s poetry where the repetitions and echoes provide switchbacks for an never ending road. Take the opening and ending of the fourth and final section of “The Force That Keeps Things Afloat” in Birds Flock Fish School.
This thinking we love leaves everything behind.
us far behind. This thinking that we love
most is everything we cannot begin to undo.
Marilyn Bowering in a blurb to Carson’s Taking Shape remarks that his poems “don’t attempt to bind the un-bindable”. And again there is the deft hand with conclusions that are not final but are definitive. Take the last poem in the sequence “The Shape of Things”.
The shape of things to come is the very last of things
we think of, the last of a generation of thought
moving between us, inventing the time and place
of our love and memories. Together we will summon
the part of the day, and the part of the night
the part of the land, and the part of the water
where we have lain so gently in each other’s arms,
where we have dreamed so much, and said so little.
There is nothing left on this wide earth to explain.
There is nothing else for us to come home to.
For in a sense we are at home in this thinking so gently bound to eros. There is the aura of a creation myth in this meditative sequence disguised as a love poem. And an elegy for a future we cannot both inhabit together.
And so for day 1144