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Editor's Note Section

൪uartet - Spring/Summer Issue 2024 Volume 4 Issue 2

Editor's Note

Poetry

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Poetry
Sylvia Freeman

Brittney Corrigan


 

Duplex with Ship of Theseus

 

What do I recognize of myself

at the end of this unknitted year?

 

            At the end of this year, unknitted

            from a marriage that ferried me three decades.

 

Three decades of marriage have carried me

to an unexpected shore, and my body

 

            is my body, sure, but an unexpected

            mooring turns my breasts to sand and sea.

 

Mourning, I see my breasts and hands turn

unfamiliar. Older and untouched.

 

            Older, untouched, unfamiliar and

            still the kernel of my heart is figurehead.

 

My heart is figureheaded, still. Eternal.

What I recognize, my truest self.

 

 

Each December, I participate in a poem-a-day challenge with an ever-expanding group of fellow poets. Over the course of the month, we share the fresh, raw drafts with each other, providing words of encouragement along the way in order to be in community and mark the end of the year together. It’s a practice I look forward to each winter, and this past December even more so, as I was one year into a separation from my husband and on the brink of finalizing our divorce. Inspired by poets like Sharon Olds, Maggie Smith, and Jessica Pierce—all of whom have written so eloquently about the end of their marriages and how women experience that life shift in our bodies, minds, and relationships—I wanted to try my hand at creating poems about my own new state of being. I also wanted to find an appropriate container to hold my complex emotions, and I decided to experiment with form. I had been intrigued for some time by the duplex, a contemporary poetic form invented by Jericho Brown. The rules of repetition built into the duplex feel both ruminative and meditative to me, and I had a feeling I could get to the core of my experience through this vessel. I started writing a series of duplexes, each driven by an object or concept with which I’ve had a longtime fascination. The Ship of Theseus paradox, which asks whether a ship that has all of its components replaced over time is actually the same ship in the end, became an apt metaphor for my transition through divorce as a middle-aged woman in a middle-aged body. By morphing the repeated lines as I moved through the duplex, I was able to celebrate my own metamorphosis into a singular—and whole—being.

—Brittney Corrigan

൪uartet is an online poetry journal that features the work of women 50 and over.

To view our issues and submission guidelines, please visit www.quartetjournal.com .

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Interview
Book Ends
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