Not A Cage

By Joan Retallack b. 1941 Joan Retallack
Scientific inquiry, seen in a very broad perspective may

see Foot 1957, also Wetermarck 1906, Ch. XIII

To man (sic) the world is twofold, in accordance with

that witness is now or in the future

It wasn't until the waitress brought her Benedictine and she

Villandry, "Les Douves" par Azay le Rideau

mine. Yours, CYNTHIA.

Not a building, this earth, not a cage,

The artist: disciple, abundant, multiple, restless

a forgery: Opus loannes Bellini

We named you I thought the earth

is possible I could not tell

to make live and conscious history in common

and wake you find yourself among

and wake up deep in the fruit

Did you get the money we sent?

I smell fire


1. Russia, 1927

God, say your prayers.

You were begotten in a vague war

sidelong into your brain.

In Letter Three & Four (as earlier) the narrator is

North Dakota Portugal Moorhead, Minnesota

The lights go down, the curtain opens: the first thing we

gun, Veronica wrote, the end.


Tomorrow she would be in America.

Over forty years ago

a tense, cunningly moving tale by the Hunga-

Then he moved on and I went close behind.

Interviewers: What drew a woman from Ohio

to study in Tübingen? American Readers

with this issue former subscribers to Marxist Perspectives

The shadow of the coup continues to hover over Spain

In the ordinary way of summer

girls were still singing

like a saguaro cactus from which any desert wayfarer can draw

as is Mr. Fox, but in literature

Twenty five years have gone by

Ya se dijeron las cosas mas oscuras

The most obscure things have already been said

Joan Retallack, "Not a Cage" from How to Do Things with Words. Copyright © 1998 by Joan Retallack.  Reprinted by permission of Sun & Moon Press / Green Integer.

Source: How to Do Things with Words (Sun & Moon Press, 1998)

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Poet Joan Retallack b. 1941

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Allusion, Mixed


Joan Retallack is an American poet, critic, biographer, and multi-disciplinary scholar who has authored seven books, including Circumstantial Evidence (1985), Icarus FFFFFalling (1994), A F T E R R I M A G E S (1995), and Memnoir (2004).
Retallack’s experimental poetics and poetry emphasize alterity and imagination, and increasingly examine what she described in a Jacket essay as “the languages of description.” A recipient of . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Allusion, Mixed

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