By Night With Torch and Spear

By Night With Torch and Spear

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OUT OF YOUR RUINS YOU HAVE MADE CREATIONS: THE FILMS OF JOSEPH CORNELL

By Sarah Nichols

In his poem for Joseph Cornell, “Objects and Apparitions,” Octavio Paz writes “Minimal, incoherent fragments:/the opposite of History, creator of ruins,/out of your ruins you have made creations” (1). For me, Cornell is a visual poet; an obsessive hunter-gatherer of images. His shadow boxes, filled as they are with “marbles, metal rings, and other frugally poetic objects” (2), create their own lives, as the best poems do.

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