This essay considers the aubade as a special case of that threshold condition to which all lyric utterance is subject. Drawing on recent work by Mutlu Konuk Blasing, it argues that the dawn songs in Jorie Graham's The Errancy (1997) instantiate and figure the interference of linguistic materiality with discursive logic that is central to the workings of lyric. The poetry's fostering these cross-purposes—the aubades' formal patterns getting in the way of the things they say—serves as a stay against time, prolonging the interlude between wordless oneness and the transparency of daylit sense, and, paradoxically, as a conduit between the private sphere of waking consciousness and the busied world that lies traditionally outside the scope of lyric. Graham learns her craft partly by listening to Shakespeare, Stevens, and Hopkins, their presence felt in the poetry's quotations and veiled allusions, and in those formal reflections whereby Graham cultivates the dense materiality of lyric language. Focusing on this intertextual dimension of The Errancy's aubades, the article brings new light to the condition of aftermath or late time in and against which Graham's belated poetic speaks.
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Fiona Green; “The Pitch of the Dawn”: Reading Lyric in Jorie Graham's Aubades. Genre 1 March 2012; 45 (1): 121–142. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00166928-1507056
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