137.1: Kathryn Cowles:: Glossary: Transcript & Glossary: Postcard & Map
8 April 2013
A charm a single charm is doubtful. This sentence, taken from Gertrude Stein's "Nothing Elegant," has always struck me with its playful skepticism: In an era of mass production and mass reproduction, can any object or experience really be called singular? Kathryn Cowles poses a similar question in this week's selection. I was there, she'll tell you. Breathing original air. But then she'll acknowledge it's already a copy, this postcard that gives the poem its name. Cowles' various objects—a transcript, a postcard, a map—are all copies of copies. We know how Plato would worry about such attachments. But Cowles reminds us that something to keep is also always something to give. And these are generous poems.