Christina Davis : Itinerance

Christina Davis Itinerance 6

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Towards a just/ and invisible image/
[…] you must have been walking.

“Itinerance” is a series of poems that seeks to challenge the vocabulary of lack that so often accompanies the concept of the solitary and of the quote unquote single and of the quote unquote childless in our society, with the plenteousness, possibility and agency that exists within that (in my case) elected life. In our culture, a silence falls around those without family, around those without the trappings of recognizable and domesticating constructs.

Released from being privatized by houses and I-haves, into a less defined arena of the relational, I for one experience something akin to what Paul Celan called “the solidary,” a vital and integral momentum toward—an onwardness and amongness in which, at times, I can hardly metabolize the happenings.

Each day brings with it an unknown, unforeseeable share of solitude and relation, of shelter and exposure, of comfort and fear, all of which taken together amount to (my understanding of) freedom.

That said, “Itinerance” also honors the gravitational pull of people and places—indicated by the “toward” and “for”-ness of the epigraphs—and of just how hard it is not to succumb to or live in “someone else’s idea.” Democracy itself could be said to be one of those ideas.

The images that accompany the poems are of those places and wildernesses with which I have grown an on-going relationship. I would like to give them their names: Concord, Cambridge, Cape Cod.

Christina Davis is the author of two collections of poetry: An Ethic (Nightboat Books, 2013) and Forth A Raven (Alice James Books, 2006). She currently serves as curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University. A version of “Itinerance, No. 6” originally appeared in The Concord Saunterer: The Journal of the Thoreau Society (2014).