What We Are Reading Today: Stet Poems by Dora Malech

What We Are Reading Today: Stet Poems by Dora Malech
Updated 14 October 2018

What We Are Reading Today: Stet Poems by Dora Malech

What We Are Reading Today: Stet Poems by Dora Malech
  • Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language, says review

In Stet, poet Dora Malech takes constraint as her catalyst and subject, exploring what it means to make or break a vow, to create art out of a life in flux, to reckon with the body’s bounds, and to arrive at a place where one might bear and care for another life.

Tapping the inventive possibilities of constrained forms, particularly the revealing limitations of the anagram, Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

“Stet,” from the Latin for “let it stand,” is a proofreading term meaning to retain or return to a previous phrasing.

The uncertainty of changes made and then reconsidered haunts Stet as its poems explore what is left unsaid through erasures, redaction, and the limitations of spelling.

How does one “go back” on one’s word or “stand by” one’s decisions? Can a life be remade or revised, or is the past forever present as in a palimpsest?