In one way or another most of the poems in Home and Variations are about displacement. Sometimes this is literal, but more often there is another kind of displacement at work. It can be a matter of finding American homes for European-derived poetics, as it is in poems like Two Short Films on the Translation of the European Imagination to America or, say, Experimental Researches on the Irrational Embellishment of Chicago, (which takes a form from Andre Breton and repurposes it for the American midwest). The textual raiding, sampling, and splicing that we see in many of many of the poems (most notably Citation Suite ) can be seen as a way of making the self at home in an initially alien textual environment - a reworking of text to make the available discourse into a habitable (and, inevitably, hybrid) space. The sources for splicing include everything from David Bowie to William Blake, often in the same poem. The process is a kind of mutation of the global textual DNA to fit local conditions. Satire (a way of making yourself at home with things that bother you) finds its way into the book, especially in the send-up of the academic left of the nineties in In Elsinore. As a rule, the book's longer poems are more experimental than the shorter ones, at least on the surface of things. Some evolutions of textual DNA (the sonnet, for example) are hardy species, and have a good chance for survival, even now.
|Publication date:||1st September 2004|
|Categories:||Poetry by individual poets,|
Robert Archambeau was born in the USA but grew up in Canada. He studied literature at the University of Manitoba and the University of Notre Dame and has taught at Notre Dame and Lund University (Sweden). He currently teaches at Lake Forest. A chapbook of poetry and a study of postmodern Irish poetry, Another Ireland, were published by Wild Honey Press. He has also edited two books, Word Play Place: Essays on the Poetry of John Matthias and Vectors: New Poetics. He is the editor of the international poetry review Samizdat.More About Robert Archambeau