There's no space to excerpt Dillard's brilliant essay "The Death of a Moth," but her meditation on solitude, self-immoloation and rapture--with its centrally juxtaposed figures of "Rimbaud burning out his brains in Paris," and a moth toasting itself on a guttering candle--is mosaic-like in its pyrotechnically (pun intended) leaping logic and--especially relevent to this essay--its focus on drug-induced rapture.
As a celestial presence, she inspires us intellectually while Rapture is that smelly, half-dwarf/half-gargoyle Lorca celebrates in his essay on the Duende.
Despite the possible Rapture influence in Digges's choice of a self-absorbed narrrator--not to mention her quick cut transitions and incantative anaphorae--Digges's poem is more viscerally focussed than Mitchell's work.
Digges's leaves open whether her speaker is mad or enlightened although one might argue since "Rough Music" isn't a psychological poem but a kind of musical vehicle for rapture that such questions are irrelevent: while sharing with more meditative poetry a liking for interior rumination, referentless symbols and free-floating metaphor, the poem's shouty style' makes me read.
These contrasts in imagery and sound are subliminally reinforced by connections Digges makes between rapture and suffering.
As in Mitchell's volume, the poems in Rough Music reveal a rapture stimulated by a projection of their speaker's madness into inanimate objects.
But Mitchell and Digges's poems seem fueled by the chaos they create: at times they merely bubble with inchoate feeling; but at best their momentum sweeps us into something that resembles rapture.
But if Digges's and Mitchell's poems burn with a ragtime rapture, Gregg's work, consumed with a longing for a lost lover, are Saphic torch songs.
And though I couldn't identify those pathos-filled lines from "Gloomy Sunday" and "Strange Fruit" with what I now know as rapture, I felt Holiday's intense sadness, I understood the irony in her double -inflected syllables; I knew there was more to her than just singing, for--especially in late-career, her voice almost gone--Holiday's songs depended on the rapture beneath the often pedestrian lyrics of popular music.
It's too easy to say that the rapture the speakers endure in the poems I've discussed is a vicarious one, but, certainly, a kind of objectification, a deflecting of emotion, takes place.