Curator of Silence


Curator of Silence

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The title poem–about a group of schoolchildren illustrating Shelley s “Ode to a Skylark”–ends with the following assertion: “these are the only / lessons they will ever need to learn: that life / is not artifact, but aperture–a stepping into / and a falling away; that to sing is to rise / from the grave of the body. And still / say less than nothing.”

This idea of the aperture, the gap, the silence that exists between what we want to say and what we actually do say pervades The Curator of Silence. The paradox, of course, is that the creation of art itself makes this gap, as there is always a gulf between the impulse and the gesture, the vision and the poem.

Nutter s experience of living for two months in the Antarctic, perhaps the greatest silence and solitude possible on earth, is the archetype of silence whose many dimensions she explores in this volume. She considers both literal, obvious silences–death, abandonment, loneliness, the silence into which lost thi