Listening RoomThe Poet Speaks

What the Body Told


Poet’s Commentary:

“What the Body Told represents an evolution, I think, in my writing from trying to, in a way, make sense of the body in terms that I could better understand in formal terms, in terms of prosody, and really trying to hear the music of the body through prosody and iambic pentameter–the beating of the heart and lungs. What I’m trying to do more of in What the Body Told is to really try on more of the gorgeousness of language and the various ways in which language is not simply of the body but is a real expression of our humanity and our more cognitive selves, if you will.

“Another important issue in What the Body Told has to do with identity and the expression of various identities in the body and individual people. I think that I learned in the process of writing this book that all of us have many identities. In a world of what oftentimes seems so many clashing identities, one can still see the beauty in our differences. Ultimately, really, what makes us all so much the same is a knowledge and an honesty about who we are as people and what we bring to our friendships and our lives and our experiences of illness. All these things really have enriched my own writing and I hope that it’s communicated through the work in a way that is useful to others.”

*Audio and text of commentary reproduced with the permission of Rafael Campo, 1996.

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