Sherry Brennan

Sherry Brennan lives in Chicago and is a Ph.D. student in 20th Century Literature. City Structures is an on-going approach to context -- in her writing and reading. Recent work appears in New American Writing.

Working Notes, Sherry Brennan

The poem began (and was finished once) without any quotations. Prompted by some reading to define pupil, I followed corollary paths (iris, marigold, rose) through the dictionary and the poem -- the dictionary comments on and rearranges my writing. The gendered Latin etymologies authorized an other construction of Venus' hysterical pupil. Which brings me to a question of property, not only whose property these quotes are, but also how is language (im)proper, (dis)possessed? Where is the poet in the relationship between writing which she might own and/or control and a system of language (including the dictionary and the tradition) which she is somehow in, property of? Impinging most specifically here: how is (con)struction (poetry, perhaps, or Venus) not simply structure (quotation), but also precisely not-its-own (improper)?

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