The Present Sense and Semantics of Pain

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I’m revisiting Elizabeth Garcia’s poem “The Semantics of Blessings”. Here’s an excerpt from my 23 October 2011 post on the poem and my recent reading of it.

The excerpt:

The first four lines are especially striking: “Do not steal my fire and ice, make null / my trial, void it with another name / than pain. The cut of a blade opening to bright red / is revelation.” Here the poet steals our attention straightaway with her command, “Do not,” which punctuates the poet’s attempt to seize power over her body, over the name she’s personally given her physical trial: pain. To call it anything else, she suggests, is to weaken the sensual revelation that accompanies the body in pain, a revelation that keeps us attuned to the “present sense,” that keeps us aligned with “the now of living.” (More.)

The reading:

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