Made of Nothing’s Lucid Play? Christine Murray’s Tree-Step

The Poem Between -- Essays by Tom D'Evelyn



if there are birds here
then they are of stone

draught of birds / flesh bone wing
claw in grass

rilled etch gathers to her nets
dust and fire / tree-step (again)

bird claw impinge and lift.

surely light would retain in
silica’s cast or flaw ?

by Christine Murray

from Deep Water Literary Journal 2015, Issue 2

This small poem — “bind” by Christine Murray — carries the jolt of discovery in its small body. It resists the imagination, as Wallace Stevens would expect: but only to that fine degree that aids discovery.

I’d say this poem has “the shape” of discovery. It has the inner form and concision of an archaic anonymous “fragment” from Homeric times: it brings us close to the origins of the craft of poetry. It opens with a note of critical mindfulness that recalls a pre-Socratic thinker against the mythical poets:…

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