by Lucas de Lima on Oct.30, 2011
This week in Intermediate Poetry Writing, we’re discussing Ariana Reines’ Coeur de Lion in a unit I am calling “Shame, Power & the Voracious ‘I’.” I’ll be trying to convince my students that Reines’ “I” is not a pronoun paralyzed by navel-gazing confessionalism, but rather an agile and all-consuming force to ride and reckon with (a force or hunger the poet herself must reckon with). The first-person lyric, in my opinion of the book, is a Möbius strip of twists and turns set in motion and empowered through an ambient, aching, melting, throbbing, cheese-filled and cheese-eating shame:
I am probably doing something horrible and destructive.
But this ‘I’ is the I of poetry
And it should be able to do more than I can do.
After watching the following clip featuring Paula Deen–that illustrious culinary TV personality–we will think about heart attacks and heartbreak as two sides of the same coin: