Corina Copp on Jean Day

Posted on August 29th, 2011 by robert. Filed under Etc..


Check out Corina Copp’s eloquent, exuberant essay on Jean Day (& her shout-out to Wild Orchids) in the August issue of Cambridge Literary Review.

The anxiety of suspension is met with the event of, albeit irregular, becoming. Writes Day in the prologue to The Literal World: “But what makes any word relevant is its ability to go and come back (‘The eager note on my door said “Call me”’), to be a ‘thing about to happen to anyone’, its unavoidable contradictions basking in the light of taboo.” But this eventuality is a bettering of the American future, feathering out as a moment of tranquility—or ataraxia, freedom from disruption. In fact, I’d say it’s this certain repose that seems more and more prevalent in Day’s newer work, such as that in Daydream. The repose is evident in the poetry’s canter, its comedy, and its contemporaneity. Living in the world partly means facing its sonics meeting its “fingerlettes”, to use a term from Barbara Guest. Guest wrote of Osip Mandelstam: “[He] once wrote of sound spilling into fingers. That could be the noise of a poem when it meets the ecstasy of recognition.”

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