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University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain


At the end of the seventies, science, philosophy and arts became a succulent material for poets, especially for those belonging to experimental groups like Susan Howe. Debths (2017), probably Howe’s last book, is a museum for any reader as it is not just an ensemble of memoirs and related poems, but also a source of pictorial and literary information. It includes extracts from 19th and 20th century texts (fairy tales, essays, and other genres) by her favorite influential authors as well as her ekphrastic poems that evocate paintings and sculptures from the Isabella Gardner Museum where she once found the inspiration. Even music has a place in this book, as Howe tends to include sound effects, interferences and references to musical pieces in her poems to make them multidimensional works of art. Along the pages, Howe highlights the materiality of writing, as well as the relevance of the form, especially in “Tom Tit Tot”, where she shows her mastery of the collage technique. All these carefully chosen pieces have the mission of representing the eternal return, the relativity of time, and how death can also be a beginning.


poetry, experimentalism, art, sculpture, painting, music, collage, form

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