Also: how does one read a double sestina aloud? “Knots” (25-27) presents a single poem in two columns. Am I meant to read one column in its entirety and then backtrack to start reading the second column? I think that’s what we were supposed to do. That’s not what we did. We frequently started our nightly reading with something like, “Okay, how do you think we’re supposed to read this?” and then talked through our best guess at how translate the book’s treatment of space and typography into the frustratingly temporal problem of reading aloud. The book facilitated fun conversations about poetry.
My partner read the published version of the text while I read the uncorrected proofs. Like all read-alouds, our rendering was subject to misreading (exacerbated by the fact that we read The Heart’s Traffic over many weeks, late at night when we were both exhausted—and I’m just absolutely shit at reading aloud). The misreadings made me reflect on the malleability of the text. When my partner “misread,” I wondered if the book she was reading actually had the word _____ instead of ________, which was in mine. I wondered if I was making a load of mistakes that she just took in her stride. Perhaps I didn’t make mistakes but she thought I did because our versions were different. How close are these proofs to the final text? Does it matter?
WHAT I NOTICED