I’m *very* pleased to say that this week marks the return of my posting mini-interviews, rather than only links, to Jessa Crispin’s Blog of a Bookslut. There are more in the pipeline, too–including an exciting multimedia one!
At any rate, Joshua Kryah was kind enough to answer a few questions about faith, language, and poetry:
Glean‘s debt to poets such as Paul Celan is evident, but I think I was even more struck by the presence of Hopkins and Hardy (Eliot almost goes without saying). I wonder if you could comment on what you value in the English tradition?
If, by “English tradition,” you mean English poets, I value their attention to language. Especially in the work of of Donne, Hopkins, and Hardy. I share their affinity for language. It’s the same English I use, but one imbued with a deeper sense of history and etymology.
Hopkins, for instance, forces language, under immense pressure, to yield a number of possible routes for a reader to follow—the “naked thew and sinew of the English language” as he calls it. Geoffrey Hill, like Hopkins, constrains the language in such a way as to make it labyrinthine and tangled. Both poets are, as Heraclitus would say, “estranged from that which [they] are most familiar”—God and language, language and God. So their poetry conflates the two, endeavoring through one in order to reach the other. The poems in Glean operate similarly.
As always, read the whole thing!