While prophetic voices echo and Biblical allusions abound in Brigit Pegeen Kelly's astonishing poems, the religious attitude implicit in them is difficult to assess. Sacred doctrine does not appear to subsume the mortal and fictive condition dramatized by their speakers; nor, on the other hand, are the speakers' religious fears and yearnings treated ironically. Kelly's poems stage, instead, a genuinely heterogeneous subjectivity; in them, the Word seems irremediably implicated in the worlds of fiction, flesh, and mortality, audible only in and through the mixed conditions of our speaking. This implicatedness is the source of much of the poems' strange beauty; and, if Julia Kristeva is right about the importance of our acknowledging our own subjective heterogeneity, it is also the source of the poems' ethical effect.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 52-77
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.