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ELEANOR WILNER - POETRY - SPRING 2008 FEATURE  

FEATURE
Debra Allbery
"The Third Image": Constellations of Correspondence in Emily Dickinson, Joseph Cornell, and Charles Simic, an essay on ekphrastic poetry and the notion of poetry and painting as "the sister arts."

Debra Allbery
Three ekphrastic poems: "Courbet," "No Tutor but the North," and "How to Explain a Dead Hare."

POETRY
Betty Adcock
Charles Coté
Martyn Crucefix This marks an author's first online publication
Burt Kimmelman
Eric Pankey
Michael Salcman
Nicholas Samaras This marks an author's first online publication
Jim Tilley
Gloria Vando
Eleanor Wilner

Interview
A Note on Fictional Truth, a Conversation with Ed Pavlić, by Andrew John McFadyen-Ketchum.

Book Review
"A Change of Maps" by Carolyne Wright—Book Review, by David Rigsbee.

Eleanor Wilner

Eleanor Wilner is the author of six books of poems: The Girl with Bees in Her Hair (Copper Canyon, 2004), Reversing the Spell: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon 1998), Otherwise (U. of Chicago, 1993), Sarah's ChoiceU. of Chicago, 1990), Shekhinah (U. of Chicago, 1985), and >maya; a translation of Euripides' Medea (U. of Massachusetts, 1979); and a book on visionary imagination, Gathering the Winds (Johns Hopkins, 1975). Her work appears in many anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Poetry 1996. She has taught at many colleges and universities, most recently at the University of Chicago, Smith College, and Northwestern University.


Vermeer's Girl, A Restoration    

An erotic intensity that demands something just as real and human in return. The relationship may be only with an image, yet it involves all that art is supposed to keep at bay.
         —Edward A. Snow, A Study of Vermeer, 1979

For an instant, I see her, before her face was cliché,
where she hung, on the wall by the front door,
at the foot of the staircase, in the little house
of our childhood, and floated above us, a presence,
always there, silent, by the Dutch-style
door, whose top we swung open in summer.

They have sullied The Girl with the Pearl Earring,
subjected her to their prurient gaze—novelized,
eroticized, reduced her to gossip and innuendo,
backstoried her as servant, thorn in the side
of a wife, object of desire, poverty's child, mute
with class diffidence and awe, as if she could be
aware of posterity's view of the painter—all this
from a mysterious glow and unreadable expression,
the illusion of being seen by her gaze, a shimmer
of pearl, brush strokes of lapis lazuli, crushed
to intensify blue.
                         Overexposed, even in film,
where they followed her to her family's dark
hovel, to the wet stones of the market where
she met the butcher's son she would marry
for meat—my god, couldn't they leave her
alone, in the nether region of art where she is,
so beautifully, no one—not servant, or mistress,
or his daughter Maria, but anonymous,
secret, what no one can name, pure mystery
of being, restored across time
by art, which keeps nothing at bay.

 

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