Featured Poet: Alice Fogel, Acworth
Alice B. Fogel's books of poetry are Elemental and I Love This Dark World. Other collections have been "finalists" in the national competitions over three dozen times so far... Meanwhile, her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the Best American Poetry Series, Robert Haas's Poet's Choice, Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, Poetry Daily, Ploughshares, The Journal, Third Coast, Pleiades. Recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the NEA, she teaches writing, literature and other arts for all ages, and is a writing mentor, co-founder of the annual NH Young Writers Conference, a frequent artist-in-the-schools, and, in a different vein, a custom clothier. Her wedding gown, made of 22 recycled men's shirts, won Grand Prize this spring in Ithaca's Re-fashion show featuring all "re-purposed" clothes. Her book, THE FIELD GUIDE TO POETRY, developed from her program for the NH Humanities Council, is forthcoming from RockWay Press in the fall of 2006.
This poem, previously published in Barrow Street, is from Interval: Poems based on Bach's Goldberg Variations & the Predicament of Embodiment, a full-length manuscript which consists of an Aria and 30 "variations." In the series, which took over five years to complete, each poem matched one of Bach's variations in style, sometimes in phrasing or voice, and all take the GV's 32-bar (line) form, divided into halves of 16. They further mimic the GV's "baroque" effects by using multiple voices: Most of the poems speak to/about a "you" and/or "them" from the point of view of a specific, first-person living (but fictional) entity; other poems - every third one, for formal reasons, and including the one printed here - speak of liminal states of being with either no "I" or one that is dis- or unembodied or in some other way indefinite. All the poems balance upon threshholds in life or death (representing for me the way music's physical sensations embody intangible or even spiritual aspects) and explore aspects of identity, mortality, and self.
Click here to read Alice Fogel's poem Variation 14: Here after
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