Anne Carson (born Toronto, Ontario June 21, 1950) is a Canadian poet and professor of history at McGill University. She has background in the classics and classical languages, as well as anthropology. She blends ideas and themes from those fields, often modernizing Greek myths or referring to ancient philosophy in her poems and essays. She has written several books, all of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, and non-fiction.
Her works include:
Eros the Bittersweet
Glass, Irony, and God
Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse
Economy of the Unlost
Men in the Off Hours (Nominated for a Governor General's Award and winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize)
The Beauty of the Husband
If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho
Some quotes from Plainwater:
"There were places were the luxury dropped off, where I waited. I saw something flash open then lost it."
"I find interesting the distinction anthropologists make between an emic and an etic point of view. Emic has to do with the perspective of a member of the society itself and etic is the point of view of an outsider seeing the society in his own terms. Lovers insist on bringing the two perspectives together, a sort of double exposure. To draw into the very inside of my heart the limit that was supposed to mark it on the outside, your strangeness. But keep it strange. Those three things."
"His boy's body sways in the wind. Two hundred and ten million years of desire wash through me. Men know almost nothing about desire, they think it has to do with sexual activity or can be discharged that way. But sex is a substitute, like money or language. Sometimes I just want to stop seeing."
"It is easier to tell the story of how people wound one another than of what binds them together."
"Language is what eases the pain of living with other people, language is what makes the wounds come open again"
"Beauty makes me hopeless. I don't care why any more; I just want to get away."
"My power is of the kind that belongs exclusively to those without power."
"Whir. Click. True. I keep trying to tell the truth, kept trying, to you, to him, in the words that were there. But my facts slip through the language like a glimpse of the lost tribe."
"I sit on my calm heels and listen to this reasoning, although air seems to have all of a sudden entirely left the region of my lungs and heart. Pleasure is important. Pleasure is a way of knowing people. Pleasure is the infinite experiment. Well before I fell in love I used to reason too. I was a young fan bandit. I was a bad bone. Stop the box."
"You see desire go travelling into the total dark country of another soul, to a place where the cliff just breaks off."
"Details are in bad taste. They expose our infection."
"Yet the traveler, once in a long while, comes to a place he is sure, never having seen it before, is the one he was seeking. He enters. At first everything inside is so saturated with strangeness it is hard to breathe -- but look now: already it is drying in from the edges like rainwater and he will in fact never after be able to recover that blankness in which he saw it first, the surgery of the first look. That moment of pure anthropology."