These Poems Bleed
A Review of
The Antigone Poems
Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker
Paperback: Ataire Publications, 2014.
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Rowan Williams describes what he believes to be the essential movement of a poet. It begins with engagement with the world that leads to protest as a reaction to the condition of humans. From the experience of protest comes disillusionment with language and its power. Disillusionment gives way to silence. From silence the poet returns, ironically, to language and thus to a kind of grace because “the return to language requires an act of faith; and an acceptance of the probability of failure. It is, as such, an exercise in radical humility and an expression of the hope of ‘grace’, communication surviving the perils of words.” For Williams, the timbre of poetry should be shot through with irony, desperation, and prayer.