Anne Carson’s (born in 1950 in Toronto, Ontario) Poetry Lecture (the title alludes to Wallace Stevens’ poem ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’) comprises thirteen short mini-talks in which Carson goes on poetological and philosophical forays into the worlds of Antiquity and her own childhood. Taking as an example a poem fragment dating from Sparta in the 7th Century BCE she demonstrates how poetry can come from an error and how metaphors teach us to revel in the error. Readers can find out about Ovid in his exile, about Hegel’s relationship with grammar and about his sister’s suicide, as well as about the mythic quality of white bread, the physical characteristics of emus and the idiosyncratic habit of llamas of humming to greet their new offspring. In passing answers are given to such vital questions as: is it really true that dead people walk backwards? And: what is the best place on the body to put a third arm?
Dreizehn Blickwinkel auf Einige Worte / Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Short Talk will be published for the event in English and German (translated by Anja Utler) by Wallstein Verlag (€ 13.90). Deutschlandfunk Kultur will be broadcasting a recording of the event at 10.03 pm on SUN 14 June.
The Lecture will be given in English, with the translation into German by Anja Utler available for following along.
Project organiser: Matthias Kniep
The Berlin Poetry Lecture 2020: Anne Carson is part of Canada’s literature programme as Guest of Honour at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair. It is supported by the Government of Canada, the Embassy of Canada and Deutschlandfunk Kultur.