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‘Notes Toward an Elegy, or What the Books Were For’ by Hannah Aizenman​

— Andrew Sargus Klein

The title of ‘Notes Toward an Elegy, or What the Books Were For,’ by Hannah Aizenman in the new issue of BOAAT Journal, reads as formal and as heavy as the start of a treatise.

The three sections are sub-labeled “i.”, “ii.”, and “iii.”; the middle section is an etymological excavation of “remember” that ends with “flesh, meat”; but the third section is the lyrical conclusion of a simple thesis: that grief is greater than the written word, that it can only live fully—be felt fully—in the body itself.

The poem’s formal elements emphasize this conclusion by virtue of their own failure to contain something as uncontainable as grief.

BOAAT Journal