Completely Subjective: Anne Carson’s “Wildly Constant”

Anne Carson was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1950. She lived in Montreal for several years and now teaches ancient Greek for a living. Carson has written books like “Glass”, “Irony”, “God”, “Men in the off hours (Knopf, 2010), and “The Beauty of the Husband” .  She has a  great career of teaching at McGill University, University of Michigan and Princeton University. “Wildly Constant” was written in the town of Stykkisholmur in Iceland, at an installation called “The Library of Water”, built by Roni Horn.


I think the poem reflects on the woman’s, that could be Anne Carson’s inner thoughts during a marriage. It seems almost like she is reflecting on whether or not she should stay in this possible broken marriage. She talks about how they are not happy monogamous. Which means having a relationship with only one person. Then they are suddenly happy “duagomous”, which i guess means having an affair. The symbol “egg” is used in the poem. She describes it as something opposite of incompetence. The intense incompetence she feels the most when she is in Stykkisholmur. That makes me think that the “eggs” is the idea of “something better”. The poem ends with the women waking up her husband, asking him to make her some eggs. So I guess she is trying to go back to the way it used to be, “monogamous”, but try to make it better.


Anne Carson’s writing is not just interesting because of the complex way she writes, but also because I can relate quite personally to the poem. I have chosen to focus on parts of the poem where I can relate most of my life experiences and still be able to understand the poem as a whole.

The woman in the poem moved to Stykkisholmur, this is a town in Iceland and considering i’m from Norway, both being a part of Scandinavia, it was extremely easy to connect this poem with certain aspects of my life. Trying to find connections within poems can sometimes be hard, but because I have such a connection towards Scandinavia, a poem about Iceland actually made it a bit easier to read.

Although the location was part of the reason I was able to comprehend and relate to this poem, it was not the only reason, quite frankly, not the most important one either

Marriage is a central theme throughout poem, it is extremely personal to me because recently over the summer I witnessed my father getting married to his new wife. Wildly Constant reflects on the spirit of marriage. Something I haven’t experienced myself, but having had a close connection with a broken marriage for quite some time allowed this poem to trigger my heart, therefore, creating a better understanding of the poem overall.

Image result for stykkishólmur

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