Anne Carson

Anne Carson’s collections of poetry include Autobiography of Red, Men in the Off Hours, Nox and The Beauty of the Husband, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her many translations of classical works include An Oresteia, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides, Antigone and Norma Jeane Baker of Troy. Her H of H Playbook is a translation of Euripides’ Herakles.

On Snow

Anne Carson, 21 April 2022

One cold dark night​ there was a story about a knocking at the outer gate. Despite cries of Yes! Yes! Coming! someone still knocked and the snow that had piled on the gate was blown halfway up the door itself, with no meaning as to the blind knocking or the thick snow or why it did not stop. I knew I should be writing a straightforward story, or even a poem, but I didn’t. I should get...

Story: ‘Four Talks’

Anne Carson, 6 January 2022

Short Talk on Todtnauberg

Celan came up the mountain to visit the philosopher. He came on a wooden cart and was surrounded by a snowstorm. He felt ashamed. Shame is unreasonable. The philosopher was unashamed. He kept whistling. Snow was blinding them both. In the Hütte (hut, cabin, refuge, shelter, small house built of readily available materials) there was only one chair, a hard chair....

Poem: ‘Oh What A Night (Alkibiades)’

Anne Carson, 19 November 2020

Plato’s Symposium prelude.A symposium was usually a gentleman’s drinking party. This is an unusual one. It has been going on for hours with no drinking. The participants agreed at the outset to forego wine in favour of entertaining one another with speeches in praise of love. Phaidros, Pausanias, Eryximachos, Aristophanes and Agathon have spoken; Sokrates is just subsiding to...

Poem: ‘Lark’

Anne Carson, 21 May 2020

Freezing daffodils nod againstApril snow. Long queue at thefood store. Brilliant deaths cutthe day. Hal was only 64. Hehad sung kaddish for someoneelse not long ago and no oneexpected – even the lark doesnot see the Open, someonesaid in another time.


Poem: ‘1 x 30’

Anne Carson, 5 March 2020

Once, once somehow I lost both of them, a man was saying as he came out of the elevator that morning. He was alone. He flicked his eyes on me, off me. He had a furtive tinge and a swank black overcoat – I thought at once of Joseph Conrad, as he is in formal photographs, with the not-quite-Western eyes and virtuosic goatee.

Once I attended a christening at a farmhouse in a country far...

Professor or Pinhead: Anne Carson

Stephanie Burt, 14 July 2011

Some writers discover their powers gradually. Others – Anne Carson, for example – spring from the head of Zeus. With three books in four years during the mid-1990s, the Canadian poet,...

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Some time ago the scholar Jean-Pierre Vernant reminded us that Greek gods are not persons but forces; and in Anne Carson’s Oresteia, her sharp, sceptical, often laconic version of three...

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Tongue breaks: Sappho

Emily Wilson, 8 January 2004

Some time around the ninth century, Sappho’s nine books were irrecoverably lost. We have some tantalising scraps, single lines and short quotations, but only one complete poem – the...

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I am going to end up talking about love, but let me start by talking about money. Money, as Marx tells us, is the enemy of mankind and social bonds. ‘If you suppose man to be man and his...

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