Marjorie Perloff: On "Paean to Place"

…How good, after all, do the men have it? In one of her late sequences, "Paean to Place," Niedecker imaginatively re-creates her father’s state of mind in the long years of her mother’s illness:

[Perloff cites lines beginning "Anchored here" and ending "of her hair"]

Like the poet, who must "log - in the cupboard, head / in closet," her father is imaged as "anchored," "Roped … in the loop / of [his wife’s] hair," the rope metaphor suggesting that one’s noose is the product, not of external force, but of love itself – in this case, the sexual loop of a woman’s hair, a loop all the more mysterious in that it remains outside the man who sits "beside his shoes."


Title Marjorie Perloff: On "Paean to Place" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Marjorie Perloff Criticism Target Lorine Niedecker
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 27 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication "Canon and Loaded Gun"
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