A Catalogue of Light: a Collection of Poems
thesisposted on 28.06.2013, 00:00 by Matthew R. Corey
“A Catalogue of Light” takes the genre of the lyric sequence as its antecedent, examining the qualities of chronological structure and lyric speech proper to the genre, and figuring a sequential text that investigates the interior conditions of a pair of fictional subjects. In this collection, I offer a sequence of lyric poems that establishes through its chronological and sequential arrangement a narrative context through which the reader might understand my characters’ representations of selfhood. Over the duration of “A Catalogue of Light,” the reader is privileged to representative accounts of each character’s interiority as it develops in dialogue with the contextual circumstances of the story, such that the narrative illustrates their dynamic interior conditions. During the period in which my sequence is set, L. M. Fish and Janine Fish encounter prolonged poverty, marital difficulty, and senile dementia, such that “A Catalogue of Light” investigates the question of how an invented character would make an account of privation and loss. Alongside such an investment in character, I am deeply interested in how the dictional music of a poem communicates with its metrical music, and in how the aural qualities of a lyric poem demand its reader and its speaker become more deeply acquainted. I’ve chosen lyric as the poetic practice to investigate the speaking subjects of “A Catalogue of Light,” not only for its engagement with the emotional and cognitive conditions of its speaker, but also for its attention to the music and the meter through which I encounter my reader. I am committed in these poems to a writing practice that would make lyric seem different than sequence, and that wants the reader to be acquainted with the characters through their depictions of being-in-the-world, as well as through the collection’s chronological story. I would like my reader to understand the text through its apparatus of subject-positions, through the dictional ranges of its characters and narrator, and through my attention to the music and logic that are native to meter, anaphora, assonance and consonance. In such concerns, I locate the characteristic qualities of my speakers, and I lend them sound and sense.