[P] Graham, Jorie: Erosion

[P] Graham, Jorie: Erosion

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Jorie Graham’s second book Erosion (1983) is groundbreaking in the way it renders her ever unfinished quest to know the world: the natural world, the socio-cultural world, and the inner world. For Graham, all three are in flux, each influences the other, and none can be fixed in a  steady, understandable state. In most of her poems, the speaker’s mind is set in a kind of  perpetual inquiry. In order to render existence characterized by such incertitude, Graham  employs quick associative leaps, myriad allusions, equivocal assertions and connections,  idiosyncratic repetition of words, combinations of long and short lines in close proximity,  dramatically terraced and/or serrated stanzas, ambiguously suggestive enjambment, and  inventive tropes that resist closure. The book’s overall arc, in a seamless evolution unbroken by  section dividers, is structured by the same relentless inquiry that powers the poetry. In their  intensive, erudite, and anxious pursuit of what’s actual, Graham’s poems are restless depictions  of the hunger for the kinds of knowledge that remain always just out of reach.