By Heather McHugh

"When I name poetry a kind of partiality," writes Heather McHugh, "I suggest its economies function by way of powers of intimation: glimmering and sparkles, instead of exhaustible sums. it's a damaged language from the start, brimming with non-words: all that white welled as much as maintain the road from surrendering to the margin; all that quiet, to maintain the musics marked." In damaged English, McHugh applies her poetic sensibility and bold serious perception to issues starting from the poetry of Valery and Rilke to historic Greek drama and Yoruba people songs, supplying severe, passionate, hugely own readings which are educated and unified by way of her situation for the relationships between language, tradition, and poetry.

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So the watchman presents the act of representing itself: he establishes the frame, the curtain, the sign of the scene. He is the eyes not only for the community of characters he serves, but for the audience too; and he opens a door onto the unfamiliar, the foreign, a door which cannot close until the play's end. In Agamemnon, that door will close about corruption at the heart of the familiar, and the house will turn out to be a destructively private place, the house of narrow self-construction, narrow-mindedness, the house closed off from others, home of hiding, seat of misrepresenting, house of horrors .

And only then the chorus enters, that witness most capable of witlessness, the witness who, though least likely to lie, is most likely to be mistaken. We, somewhere in the vicinity of these seers and watchers and witnesses-we onlookers- have our work cut out for us. Incipzt tragoedza. Monsieur Teste's companion describes Monsieur Teste at the opera. Where a work of art occurs, what its site is, bears some thought: the root of the word opera is work; its lun is oeuvre. Valkry locates us at the site of the works, and places M.

Men may yearn to believe in, but cannot live by, the monolithic ground or Unmoved Mover. They can't stand up to the Ideal. The German Abgrund (the abyss) is the absence of ground: it is toward 20 Broken English the abyss that everything falls. One might have imagined the grounds of the ideal to be immaterial, the stuff of spirit; but Rdke makes that vacancy take on the greatest weight. Rdke knows the burden of God's word (one need only take a look at the poem "A Prophet" to see the stresses conferred by the sacred on the mortal).

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