Sara Burant on Laura Jensen

According to Audre Lorde, one of poetry’s tasks is “naming the nameless so it can be thought.” To fulfill this charge, poetry inhabits language fully, calling both upon somewhat quantifiable elements such as diction, form and syntax, and upon the poet’s imaginative capacities. The poetic or lyric imagination is a mysterious medium which not only sees but sees into and through. To activate this seeing or to give it room-to-roam, the poet uses language to engage all the senses while simultaneously opening herself to other more intuitive ways of knowing. Poetry seeks in part to capture what is otherwise fleeting, perceptions grounded in experience which nonetheless resonate beyond the material conditions of the poem’s moment. And yet poems are not museums in which artifacts, taken out of context, bear little or no relationship to their meaning in the experiential world. On the contrary, poems, good poems, successful poems, crackle with liveliness and urgency.