Art by Sean Robert Fitzgerald


“At the safe place, we’ll meet”: Mapping the State of Security in Modern Poetry

  In his memoir On the Wrong Track, Milo Dor recounts how he and his friend Paul Celan understood Adorno’s formulation on the barbarism of writing poetry after Auschwitz as symptomatic of the social condition in which every word and gesture had now come under suspicion.1 As the poet who resisted in verse the depredations of the surveillance state, Celan developed his poems as secure spaces of encounter where poet and reader share the ground on which they hold each other’s perspectives and positions. By contrast, so-called security in the form of surveillance has proliferated most recently in the digital age as an apparatus of the political configuration that Giorgio Agamben has theorized as paradigmatic of sovereignty in modern politics, namely the state of exception:

The paradox of sovereignty consists in the fact the sovereign is, at the same time, outside and inside the juridical order… the sovereign, having the legal power to suspend the validity of the law, legally places himself outside the law.2

  The struggle for consent over the boundaries between private and public discourse bears mapping as the security apparatus of the state of exception is refracted through the prism of modern poetry. One of the ways in which the discourse of security is refracted through poetics is the ability to conceal, which is at the core of the masking function that the representative Anglo-American Modernist T. S. Eliot fostered with his various voices and personae no only to protect his personal life but also to counter the modern trauma of traditions vanishing before his very eyes in light of various forms of destruction. As a screen blocking the invasive gaze turned to the private life of the poet, Eliot’s theory of impersonality is enmeshed in the problematic surrounding the public author’s right to privacy; in other terms, the literary hermeneutic of the theory of impersonality is a metonymic defense against the prying hermeneutic of the state.

  The fundamental issue of concealment is phenomenological ownership in being in language. Heidegger names the ontology of such self-possession with the term “das Ereignis,” which has been translated variously as “appropriation,” “the event of appropriation, “the event,” or more poetically as “enowning.” What “enowning” represents is the phenomenon of belonging to being in the moment of one’s own truth freely in time. Beyond the issue of intentionality, the poet’s control over the private negotiation with public disclosure is a question of ownership that lies at the core of the poet’s visibility. According to Heidegger, “truth for the Greeks means the unhidden,”3 and it flickers between the hiddenness and unhiddenness of being in the dialectic of (un)concealment: “philosophy seeks beings in their unhiddenness as beings. Accordingly, beings must previously, and also simultaneously, be experienced in their hiddenness, i.e. as concealing themselves,”4 Like Heidegger, Eliot recognizes that the mask of metaphor is no mere dishonest disguise but rather the means of rendering being visible. The ability not only to see but also to project appearance by way of a mask in poetry is fundamentally a social act, as Eavan Boland encapsulates in the sequence “Writing in a Time of Violence.”5 Recognizing the vulnerability of the common cultural space of poetry for Irish survival, Boland testifies how the valence of words flicker in (un)concealment within tragic colonial modernity: “we have lived where language is concealed.”6 Capturing the legacy of slavery within the Black diaspora in the modern era, Dionne Brand surveys in Ossuaries the land traversed by the protagonist Yasmine leading a precarious existence as an underground political refugee subjected to the scrutiny of the state security apparatus in its various neoliberal guises.7 Uncertain of being able to keep her promise – “at the safe place, we’ll meet”8 – Brand registers the insecurity threatening both poetry and public space as dwellings built on common ground. As the modern state of exception has imposed exposure upon its citizens, poets have responded by mapping and defending the terrain of shared security. The struggle to gain appropriate shelter for the encounter in poetry registers the way in which the conflict over ownership in property and politics is refracted not just in poetry but ultimately in the ontology of being in the modern era.

What is to be insisted upon is that the poet must develop or procure the consciousness of the past and that he should continue to develop this consciousness throughout his career.

What happens is a continual surrender of himself as he is at the moment to something which is more valuable. The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.9

  The near violent creative purgation that Eliot forwards is representative of his engagement with the dialectic of dispossession that circulates as an economy throughout much of his career. Pivotal to impersonality are the acts of appropriating poetic tradition and being appropriated by it through surrendering to it. According to Heidegger, the phenomenon of enowning is the occurrence of belonging to being in time: “Because being and time are there only in Appropriating, Appropriating has the peculiar property of bringing man into his own as the being who perceives Being by standing within true time. Thus Appropriated, man belongs to Appropriation.”10 The significance of enowning is that it connects the issue of pure being in time with the related issues of rendering the truth of being visible, which lies under the purview of the poet and which the poet protects in language. The poet gives shelter to the phenomenon of pure being (i.e. enowning) in the site of the poem. In Eliot’s case, the dialectic of dispossession means that owning the tradition also involves being owned by it. In other words, tradition is the benchmark currency for the cultural capital that Eliot establishes as the “something which is more valuable” than his own personality in his poetic economy.11 The crux for the individual poet is to surpass solipsism and reach enowning by seeing tradition through a temporal perspective that enables seeing in tradition “poetry as a living whole of all the poetry that has ever been written.”12

  Although he eschews the biographical scrutiny of poetry in “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, Eliot quietly extols the reader’s pleasure in eavesdropping on the poet in “The Three Voices of Poetry.”13 He devises his typology of poetic voicing according to the following categories: 1) “the poet speaking to himself – or to nobody”; 2) “the poet addressing an audience”; and 3) “the poet when he attempts to create a dramatic character speaking in verse; when he is saying, not what he would say in his own person, but only what he can say within the limits of one imaginary character addressing another imaginary character.”14 Having embarked on a career as a verse dramatist following his earlier achievements in lyric personae with “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land”, Eliot emphasizes the way in which the poetic voice is not only embodied but also constructed for reception as a persona or mask. In Eliot’s case, the extent to which poetry is theatrical cannot be overstated. In his discussion of the meditative lyric, he elaborates with the following startling confession: “But my opinion is, that a good love poem, though it may be addressed only to one person, is always meant to be overheard by other people. Surely, the proper language of love – that is, of communication to the beloved and to no one else – is prose.”15 Eliot justifies the essence of poetry as being open to interception. Love in poetry is simultaneously shown and hidden. The intertwined issues of intention and consent undergird Eliot’s poetics of love to the extent that the poet presumably knows and intends for the poem to be seen by others besides the intended beloved addressed. Consensual interception as a form of literary, ethical and phenomenological ownership characterizes Eliot’s position towards love poetry.

  Eliot goes even further by not only offering his defense of the listener eavesdropping but also arguing that such behaviour is constitutive of the essence of poetry: “part of our enjoyment of great poetry is the enjoyment of overhearing words which are not addressed to us. But if the poem were exclusively for the author, it would be a poem in a private and unknown language, and a poem which was a poem only for the author would not be a poem at all.”16 Eliot’s acceptance of eavesdropping is an adaptation of John Stuart Mill’s distinction between rhetoric and poetry: “Eloquence is heard, poetry is overheard. Eloquence supposes an audience; the peculiarity of poetry appears to us to lie in the poet’s utter unconsciousness of a listener. Poetry is feeling confessing itself to itself, in moments of solitude.”17 Mill’s definition articulates the modern tradition of the Romantic poet privately recording emotion in verse, which Eliot rejects by virtue of his comfort with the exposure of the most intimate recesses of poetic subjectivity. As Herbert F. Tucker argues in “Dramatic Monologue and the Overhearing of Lyric,” the romantic subjectivism of modern poetry represents the illusion of a dissociation between social mediation and poetry.18 While Eliot rejects such romantic subjectivism, he nevertheless maintains a buffer between history and poetry by way of personae. By implication, personae in Eliot’s poetry permit the duplicity of simultaneously revealing and concealing subjectivity. The fact that poetry is a social utterance does not imply, however, that all phenomenological and hermeneutic ownership is to be wrested from the poet. Eliot shields himself from eavesdropping and interception with the masks of impersonality and justifies his protection on the grounds of theatricality: these literary erotics are the poetic equivalents of consensual role-play. Eliot fittingly concludes “The Three Voices of Poetry” with the following statement regarding the (un)concealment at play in his personae: “The world of a great poetic dramatist is a world in which the creator is everywhere present, and everywhere hidden.”19

  In her sequence of poems “Writing in a Time of Violence,” Boland demonstrates her commitment to revealing the phenomenological truth of being. She wants the reader to dwell within the phenomena that she portrays in her poems. In “That the Science of Cartography Is Limited,” for instance, she attests “the gloom of cypresses / is what I wish to prove.”20 Describing her discovery of what had been a famine road, a make-work project that the British gave the Irish to compensate for failed crops in 1847 during the Irish famine and which ended once the workers died from the exhaustion of construction, the narrator turns to her ruminations upon a map of Ireland and focuses not upon the merely objective geographical representation of the area but upon the human history that remains attached to the place despite being invisible on the map:

     and when I take down
the map of this island, it is never so
I can say here is
the masterful, the apt rendering of the spherical as flat, nor
an ingenious design which persuades a curve
into a plane,
but to tell myself again that

the line which says woodland and cries hunger
and gives out among sweet pines and cypress,
and finds no horizon

will not be there.21

While the scientific representation of the landscape gives no indication of the famine road and therefore leaves it absent to the unwitting viewer, Boland (un)conceals the fraught history that remains otherwise hidden. The limit of scientific cartography is precisely the threshold of being.

  Imagining an encounter with her younger self developing as a young poet in “Writing in a Time of Violence,” Boland describes the moment she recognized the play of (un)concealment in language. In her imaginary dialogue, Boland weighs the possibility of telling herself about the further deceptive qualities of language as it insinuates itself into history, politics, society, and culture.

     I can see her. I could say to her –

we will live, we have lived
where language is concealed. Is perilous.
We will be – we have been – citizens
of its hiding place.22

  Within the context of Irish colonial history and its postcolonial legacy, the security of the Gaelic peoples and their language has been under threat for centuries at the hands of the British. As a result, Gaelic and even the English language in modern Irish history have been used to incorporate necessary silences of survival and resistance. Boland identifies the way in which conflicting interests intertwine and results in the unspoken insinuating itself in language in all sectors of life:

     But it is too late

to shut the book of satin phrases, to refuse to enter
an evening bitter with peat smoke,
where newspaper sellers shout headlines
and friends call out their farewells in
a city of whispers
and interiors where

the dear vowels
Irish Ireland ours are
absorbed into autumn air,
are out of earshot in the distances
we are stepping into where we never

imagine words such as hate
and territory and the like – unbanished still
as they always would be – wait
and are waiting under
beautiful speech. To strike. 23

In societies in which security and survival depend upon concealment, the survivors are the stewards of their lands as they are concealed in language. Existing without rendering their true being apparent, the survivors become expert in the art of disguise. Boland’s map of these shadow lands draws latitudes in literature, newspapers, and nature intersecting with the longitudes of friendship, family, and politics. At the core of “Irish Ireland ours,” the meaning of the republican movement’s Gaelic name, Sinn Fein is the issue of securing ownership over its own land, culture, and society – ultimately its being.24 Enowning in the form of giving home and shelter to Irish being while having to conceal it in its various cultural and social guises captures the manner in which the valence of the dialectic of (un)concealment operates in the postcolonial context. The name Sinn Fein revolves precisely around the poles of enowning and (un)concealment upon which the related issues of security and surveillance circulate. The violence in the Irish Republican speaker’s mouth is ever ready to erupt from the various sectors on the map of discourse. As being flickers between concealment and visibility, Boland recognizes the republican’s readiness “[t]o strike.”25 The conclusion at which Boland’s poem arrives is that having to live “where language is concealed” in a state of false security threatens to erupt in decisive historical violence.26 At stake in enowning is the very destiny of a nation in shaping its own history, as Heidegger states succinctly: “Be-ing as en-owning is history.”27

  One of the most common apparatuses of the modern state of exception are identity papers most notably in the form of the passport, which serve to identify and track citizens domestically and abroad. The current proliferation of technologies for mapping individuals forms a genealogy with the advent of intensified passport control during World War I and draws an increasingly detailed surveillance map by states and corporations working in tandem with one another. The dialectic of masking and unmasking that is characteristic of (un)concealment becomes quotidian combat for states, corporations, and citizens alike as all players participate to varying degrees of masking and unmasking in order to take control not only of people and territories but also of the maps overwriting them. In Brand’s book-length poem Ossuaries, the protagonist Yasmine is a former political activist now living underground as a refugee who makes her way from Cuba to Algiers, the United States, and Canada by means of false documentation that she uses to mask her identity in order to circumvent state restrictions on her movement:

but failure is when they describe what you’ve done,
and she lives in that description hand to mouth,
outside the everyday, in refugee shafts
and tiny rooms, and in other people’s passports,
in mathematical theorems of trust,
in her vigilant skin and feathery, feathery deceit

it is not enough to change the bourgeois state,
this sentence slumbered in her, sleek,
you have to bring it down, winched to this

each dawn’s lurid ambivalence.28

  As a radical Marxist living an underground existence, Yasmine represents how the nexus of alienation and revolution are knotted with the despair that the surveillance by contemporary states imposes upon global movement. The carceral state is captured at the beginning of the book: “looking back, my dreams were full of prisons.”29 That Yasmine lives “in other people’s passports” attests to the construction of dispossession in state-owned documentation.30 While ostensibly for the sake of security, the documentarian state in effect exacerbates the insecurity of citizens by limiting their free movement. Appropriating the arbitrary mediating quality of legal documentation, Yasmine uses false documents to circumvent the security apparatus. Even though she succeeds in fooling the surveillance apparatus, Yasmine is not necessarily able to maintain enowned being. While her forged documents permit passage by semiotic means, they do not contain any semantic content of her own being. As Heidegger notes, concealment operates not as crude deception but rather as a form of preservation that gives shelter to being: “More readily than others the poet veils the truth in image and thus bestows it to our view for keeping. But how does the thinker shelter the truth of be-ing, if not in the pondering steadiness of the path of his questioning steps and their resulting consequences?”31 To the extent that figures are a form of concealment, they paradoxically preserve being and its visibility in poetry. The poet gives shelter to the phenomenon of enowning in the site of the poem: “In the event of appropriation vibrates the active nature of what speaks as language, which at one time was called the house of Being.”32Poetry is “the house of being.”33 In Yasmine’s case, forged documents are not a form of phenomenological shelter even though they permit her physical passage across borders. In the genealogy of the apparatus of security that insists upon constructing the self in documentation, Brand coins the metaphor of “fenced mouths” to capture the limits set upon enowned speech.34 Telescoping the way identity has been constructed in documentation to its contemporary manifestation as pervasive exposure, the narrator indicates how the process affects the refugee as Yasmine crosses the Niagara Falls border into Canada:

the train, trolling the back of gluttonous
small cities,
dead vehicles slackly gathered, heaped

rickety and disorderly, to watch her,
spectacle, sheathed in a guillotine dress,
a new passport, a razor-bladed photo.35

Under the increasingly automatic state scrutiny, the traveler has been rendered a spectacle not under positive, constructive cultural forms but under the coercive political gaze. With an eye turned towards the future, Brand even suggests that the legacy or ossuaries for contemporary identity is now to be reduced to a “museum of spectacles.” Spectacular identity is the social construction of the self under state scrutiny that seeks ever-increasing exposure of its citizens’ private being. The particular permutation of the gaze in the contemporary period is now a vulgar form of barbaric violence:

the train, trolling the back of gluttonous
small cities,
dead vehicles slackly gathered, heaped

rickety and disorderly, to watch her,
spectacle, sheathed in a guillotine dress,
a new passport, a razor-bladed photo.35

Under the increasingly automatic state scrutiny, the traveler has been rendered a spectacle not under positive, constructive cultural forms but under the coercive political gaze. With an eye turned towards the future, Brand even suggests that the legacy or ossuaries for contemporary identity is now to be reduced to a “museum of spectacles.”36 Spectacular identity is the social construction of the self under state scrutiny that seeks ever-increasing exposure of its citizens’ private being. The particular permutation of the gaze in the contemporary period is now a vulgar form of barbaric violence:

     but everything can
be discussed, except that we are predatory
so on we go, take no note of what’s been said here

the presumptive cruelties,
the villages that nursed these since time,
it’s always in the lyric

the harsh fast threatening gobble,
The clipped sharp knifing, it’s always
in the lyric.

Including the lyric under the contemporary predatory state gaze, the speaker’s “we” does not set apart an external social group outside predation.38 No one, not even poet or reader, is immune to the predatorial impulse. In the world that Brand depicts, the refugee is the spectacle being mapped through the various forms of documentation from state identity papers to Brand’s Ossuaries itself under the watchful eye of the state predatorial gaze. In engaging whether or not eluding the predatorial drive and territory are possible in the meantime, Brand nevertheless keeps open the possibility when Yasmine makes a plan to reach shelter with the following assertion: “at the safe place we’ll meet.”39 While the promise of finding shelter from the gaze of the ever-encroaching state of security seems dubious, the site of refuge is not revealed. But the suggestion is that the safe place is poetry.

  The guiding figure of the title Ossuaries is the metaphor for writing as the tentative repository and shelter of a life and being that fights to preserve itself in memory:

each bone has lost its dialect now….
will my bones glitter beyond these ages,
will they burn beyond the photographs’
crude economy.40

As the words are bones, the ossuaries are texts. The preoccupation with what the bones will speak beyond the living is the crucial concern in the figure of the ossuary. Tanis MacDonald identifies how the ossuary represents an instance of remediation: “The problem that Brand addresses again and again in this text is not the problem of remembering trauma, but rather the problem of living with a history of the body that is both unlocatable and omnipresent.”41 One particular challenge that the Black diaspora faces in representing the trauma of slavery is not having the material evidence such as the bones of the ancestral victims as an index to their history. As a result, Brand uses poetry as a substitute or prosthesis that gives present body in words to otherwise absent relics. The concern with the presence of the absent past leads Yasmine to speculate upon the nature of existence while on the plane leaving Havana:

what had been her life, what collection of events?
these then, the detonations,
the ones that led her to José Marti Airport. 42

Speculating on life as a “collection of events” invites considering how the moments of enowning can constitute the bones held in the text as ossuary.43 In contrast to the legal documentation to which the state subjects identity, Brand proposes shelter in the form of a poetic phenomenology. In the conclusion to Ossuaries, Brand describes how the ossuary as the figure for rhetoric and material preservation of life as a set of events in poetry encapsulates enowning:

so here we lie in our bare arms,
here the ribs for a good basket, a cage,
the imperishable mandible, the rhetorical metatarsals…

here we lie in folds, collected stones
in the museum of spectacles,
our limbs displayed, fract and soluble

were this a painting, it would combust canvases,
this lunate pebble, this splintered phalanx,
I can hardly hold their sincere explosions. 44

As the repository of bones, the ossuary is the account, vehicle, and shelter of being. The ossuary is the “the house of being.”45 That the contents of the ossuary are explosive in fact points to the danger and violence of asserting being beyond the various state-imposed limits upon it. The explosive power of being is conveyed in one of the most poignant images from Ossuaries: “grenades took root / in my uterus.”46 The entire poem is the struggle to capture in word and image the (un)concealment of enowning. The ossuary, as the “hold” that contains the explosions of enowning as events of appropriation, alludes to seizing the phenomenon in its (un)concealment as the near impossible task of the modern poet.47 Being able to access being and the (un)concealed is the condition of being: “to be someone else, to be, that infinitive / that, for instance, set her on this train”.48 The state of security that Yasmine seeks is the state of being, the phenomenological equivalent of the verb “to be”. Infinitive being is the being of enowning.

  In the germ of his figure of the encounter, Celan considered poetry as the terrain upon which poet and reader could mutually share the experience of each other’s enowning: “Even in a poem’s here and now – the poem itself really has only this one, unique, momentary present – even in this immediacy and nearness it lets the Other’s ownmost quality speak: its time.”49 What is Eliot’s admission to the pleasures of poetic overhearing and his insistence upon the importance of tradition in showing “poetry as a living whole” if not the desire for such an encounter?50 Likewise, what is Boland’s desire to converse with her younger self and the latent violence of postcolonial angst if not the longing for the recognition that the encounter represents? A year before his suicide in 1970, Celan recorded the following decisive assessment: “La poésie ne s’impose plus, elle s’expose” (“Poetry no longer imposes itself; it exposes itself”).51 Fully attuned to the historical caesura cutting the poetic, phenomenological, and political ties of the postwar era, Celan registered the diminished position of poetry in the culture that combines exhibitionism with forensics and that is culminating in the contemporary entrenchment of total surveillance. For her part, Brand reveals how the infinitive being of enowning eludes the security and surveillance apparatus of the state of exception. In A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging, Brand attests to the particular function of figures, masks, and personae as the means to fashioning identity in order to compensate for the trauma of the state of exception:

To have one’s belonging lodged in a metaphor is voluptuous intrigue; to inhabit a trope; to be a kind of fiction. To live in the Black diaspora is I think to live as a fiction – a creation of empires, and also a self-creation. It is to be a being living inside and outside herself. It is to apprehend the sign one makes yet to be unable to escape it except in radiant moments of ordinariness made like art. To be a fiction in search of its most resonant metaphor then is even more intriguing”.52

The effect upon the subject of the state of exception that roots sovereignty inside and outside the law is experienced as the divide of alienation between enowning and dispossession. To the extent that the apparatus of security demands at least the appearance of fidelity and fealty through various forms of documentation, it cannot map the proper phenomenology of enowning by which the state of exception attempts to own its citizens. No camera can capture being in the infinitive. As Boland indicates, what supersedes the limit of the science of cartography is the shelter that poetry affords being. Although it does not yet realize it, the state of security will aspire to the reach of poetry; but the moment it reaches this apogee will simultaneously mark its own destruction. Once poetry pervades the surveillance apparatus, the shelter of being as the proper state of security will emerge rendering visible the full plenitude of the truth radiating from the promise “at the safe place, we’ll meet.”53

End Notes

1 A friend from Celan’s youth, Milo Dor describes in his memoir the climate of suspicion that pervaded every work and gesture with suspicion after the historical caesura of the Shoah: After his return from exile, the sociologist Theodor Adorno apodictically declared that after Auschwitz it is impossible to write poems. Surely what he meant was that we can no longer develop normal feelings about one another – and that is a fact. Since then the world has been out of kilter. No matter what you said or did, it would be misinterpreted somehow.” On the Wrong Track: Fragments of an Autobiography, trans. Jerry Glenn and Jennifer Kelley (Riverside: Ariadne, 1993), 161.

2 Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 15.

3 Martin Heidegger, The Essence of Truth: On Plato’s Cave Allegory and Thaeatetus, trans. Ted Sadler (New York: Continuum, 2002), 9.

4 Ibid.

5 Eavan Boland, “Writing in a Time of Violence,” New Collected Poems, (New York: Norton, 2008).

6 Ibid. 212

7 Dionne Brand, Ossuaries, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2010).

8 Ibid., 94.

9 T. S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” Selected Essays, 3rd ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1951), 17.

10 Martin Heidegger, On Time and Being, trans. Joan Stambaugh (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), 23.

11 Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” 17.

12 Ibid.

13 T. S. Eliot, “The Three Voices of Poetry,” On Poetry and Poets, (Boston: Faber and Faber, 1957), 89-102.

14 Ibid., 89.

15 Ibid., 90.

16 Ibid., 100.

v17 John Stuart Mill, “What Is Poetry?” Essays on Poetry, ed. F. Parvin Sharpless (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1976), 12.

18 Herbert F. Tucker, “Dramatic Monologue and the Overhearing of Lyric,” Lyric Poetry: Beyond New Criticism, eds. Chaviva Hosek and Patricia Parker (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), 241-242.

19 Ibid., 102.

20 Eavan Boland, “That the Science of Cartography Is Limited,” New Collected Poems, (New York: Norton, 2008), 204.

21 Ibid., 204-205.

22 Boland, “Writing in a Time of Violence,” 212.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid.

27 Martin Heidegger, Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), trans. Parvis Emad et al. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 348.

28 Brand, Ossuaries, 28.

29 Ibid., 9.

30 Ibid., 28.

31 Martin Heidegger, Contributions to Philosophy, 14.

32 Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, trans. Joan Stambaugh (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 39.

33 Ibid.

34 Dionne Brand, Ossuaries, 111.

35 Ibid., 114.

36 Ibid., 124.

37 Ibid., 107-108.

38 Ibid., 107.

39 Ibid., 94.

40 Ibid., 51

41 Tanis MacDonald, “‘Rhetorical Metatarsals’: Bone Memory in Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries,” in The Memory Effect: The Remediation of Memory in Literature and Film, eds. Russell J. A. Kilbourn and Eleanor Ty (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013), 97.

42 Dionne Brand, Ossuaries, 64.

43 Ibid.

44 Ibid., 124.

45 Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, 39.

46 Dionne Brand, Ossuaries, 11.

47 Ibid., 124.

48 Ibid., 118.

49 Paul Friendrich, Gita Within Walden (Ithaca: State University of New York Press, 2008), 147-148.

50 Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” 17.

51 This is my English translation of a statement Celan originally made in French, the language of his adopted home, France where he eventually spent most of his life. The original quote is from the German edition of his collected works: Gesammelte Werke in sieben Bänden, eds. Beda Alleman and Stefan Reichert (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2000), 3:181.

52 Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging, (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2001), 18-19.

53 Brand, Ossuaries, 94.