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A New Year

The new year began, as the world fell into a state of unprecedented calm. And the farmer dropped his sickle and froze, witnessing a spectacle overwhelming in its common majesty. The sky was the brightest of blues, unblemished by cloud, the fields stretching before him were as the purest gold and without shadow. The wheat was plentiful and the hive ran with a honey rivaling the gold of the fields. Beyond, the streams were bright and clear as if poured from a crystals infinite center.

The children ceased their play and stood in baffled silence as a host of luminous balloons, wider than great ships, hovered, dipped as if in greeting, then ascended deep into that same blue.

Bowls of bread and fish and fruit materialized in the hands of the hungry. The sun drew the water from raging flood, relieving the saturated earth. The rain satiated drought and the desert flourished. Rivers teamed with fish, pink and plentiful. And the lame ran, the blind spun in a new radiance, and the sick rose refreshed.

The healing worm rose from the clay of creation and the tongue of every living thing brought forth understanding. And laughter rang out and the grieving were comforted. Bells of silver chimed and all bowed their heads, giving thanks. And rainbows circled the earth like the rings of Saturn, and all dipped their fingers into its formlessness and knew that it was good.
 

Anne Carson is a poet, essayist, professor of Classics, and translator. “In the small world of people who keep up with contemporary poetry,” wrote Daphne Merkin in the New York Times Book Review, Carson “has been cutting a large swath, inciting both envy and admiration.”

Eight years after Patti Smith performed My Blakean Year at the New York Public Library in 2010, Anne Carson delivered an illustrated lecture on the same stage, “On Corners.” Presenting the a range of texts and figures both classic and contemporary, Carson will touch on inspirations from Homer’s Odyssey, Aristotle, and Sophokles, to Samuel Beckett, Borges, James Turrell, and many more. This is one to watch!

Anne Carson: On Corners | 2018-12-07 | LIVE from the NYPL