14 July 2009

April Bernard on Woman-Stirred Radio


This week on Woman-Stirred Radio, Merry Gangemi interviews poet April Bernard. The topic? Her latest volume of poetry entitled Romanticism (WW Norton 2009).

A recent post at Poetry Foundation notes that Romanticism "explores and challenges the central ideas of high Romanticism: the tragedy and gallantry of the individual’s life journey, the appeal of revolution and violence, the beckoning forces of Nature, and the estrangement from but constant longing for God."

Move over a bit Goethe,and make some room. April Bernard has created a work of art that hums with intelligence. Romanticism is not about romance. It is about “the cloth edge of certainty” and the daemons of traditional culture mores that control it.

This is risky stuff. But life is risky. Love is riskier. Romanticism is the violence of passionate love and the violence we do to ourselves when we are coupled, in the process of uncoupling, or simple observing our search. “When did I learn/ to make fun of pain” she asks. “I offered him our bloods’ river to drown in/ but he found the metaphor distasteful” (65). Indeed, when did we agree to learn how to be objects of love rather than beings of love?

Tune in (91.1fn) or stream us live (WGDR) Thursday, July 16th at 4:15 (eastern) for an interview with April Bernard. And join the conversation! 802.454-7762.

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