Monday 16 May 2016

Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse by Anne Carson (Vintage, 1999), first selection

A first selection of favourite passages from this wonderful book:

He clothed himself in this strong word each. 


Before this time Geryon had not lived nights just days and their red intervals. 

Facts are bigger in the dark.

from "II. Each"

...said his mother
rhinestoning past on her way to the door. She had all her breasts on this evening.


She was standing before him now
smiling hard and rummaging in his face with her eyes.

from "III. Rhinestones"

They grinned at each other as night climbed ashore.

from "IV. Tuesday"

Then he met Herakles and all the kingdoms of his life shifted down a few notches.
They were two superior eels
at the bottom of the tank and they recognized each other like italics.


The world poured back and forth between their eyes once or twice.

from "VII. Change"

Her voice drew a circle
around all the years he had spent in this room.


A pure bold longing to be gone filled him.

from "IX. Space and Time"

He understood 
that people need
acts of attention from one another, does it really matter which acts?


His voice washed
Geryon open.

from "X. Sex Questions"

He could feel the house of sleepers
around him like loaves on shelves.


...and a fragment of human voice tore itself out and came past, it seemed
already long ago, trailing
a bad dust of its dream which touched his skin.

from "XII. Lava"

As in childhood we live sweeping close to the sky and now, what dawn is this.

from "XVI. Grooming"

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