The Sore Throat and Other Poems

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Procedural writing collides with heightened emotion. Aaron Kunin believes that the part of yourself that you're most ashamed of is interesting and can be used as material for art. The poems of The Sore Throat , his second collection, come out of self-imposed semiotic limitation, yet manifest a fully inhabited psychological environment. Working with a limited vocabulary - 200 words derived from a nervous habit of transcription - and with specific source texts - Ezra Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley and Maurice Maeterlinck's play Pelleas et Melisande - Kunin takes hymn, epigram, ode, elegy, ballad, conversation, invective, confession, epitaph, inability, protest, love poem (praise, valentine, aubade, seduction, defense of inconstancy), riddle, cosmogony, theodicy, vanity, and misplaced concreteness among his modes d'emploi. Combining rigorous formal procedure with a kind of automatic writing, The Sore Throat produces poems of unlikely, and heightened, sensitivity to nuances of feeling.