He told us, with the years, you will come
To love the world.
And we sat there with our souls in our laps,
And comforted them.
-- Dorothea Tanning
from The Antioch Review, Winter 2004, v. 62, no. 1
and A Table of Content (Graywolf, 2004)
Notes by Judith Hall
1. A note should not be longer than a poem.
2. Tanning’s “o” sounds -- her “come,” “love,” “comforted” struck against the longer “told” and “souls” – counterpoint with sonic half-companions despair. Music, though, does not ease affect, and the poem persuades, at least this reader, by suspending resolution.
3. Modest assonance? Is assonance modest? Erotic?
4. A note should spur – inspire? – a reader to reenter the poem.