This book is one long poem in many sections. It is the masterwork of this avante garde poet, who has been working on this composition for a decade.
In Drafts 1-38, Toll, Rachel Blau DuPlessis has built a work which mimics memory and its losses, and which plays with the textures of memory, including its unexpectedness, its flashes and disappearances. Her recurrent motifs and materials include home, homelessness and exile; death and the memory of the dead; political grief and passion; silence, speech, the sayable and the ineffable. Drafts 1-38, Toll functions as a long poem comprised of 38 pieces, or drafts. These poems are conceived as autonomous canto-like sections that work on two procedural principles. One is the random repetition of lines or phrases across poems, a self-questioning, processual, and reconceptualizing strategy that honors the term drafts. A second procedural principle is the fold. This is the reconsideration of a donor draft and the deployment of some aspect in the donor draft in a related draft. The periodicity of this reconsideration is the number 19; hence drafts 1-19 make up the original layer, while drafts 20-38 constitute the first fold on top of this material.