Nevermas, a longpoem

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Clavelle, Karen
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Nevermas: A Long Poem in the of 20th century Canadian long poem is a heteroglossic narrative concerned with the creation of a speaking subject through a polyphony of disparate voices which stem from an ancestral past, artifact, folk narratives, and contemporary voices. In the first half of the poem the authoritative voice which initially creates Mairi Og as a stable construct gradually slips towards Nevermas, a time that never comes. In her quest for knowledge of her own ancestral past Mairi moves towards an other Mairi, who emerges out of the interaction of persuasive voices via dialogic micro-narratives created by a chorus (a collage) of appropriated voices, "real," found, and imaginary. The theoretical framework for Nevermas arises from the influence of polyphony on the long poems of David Arnason, Michael Ondaatje and Robert Kroetsch, and from the Bakhtinian explication of Mennipean satire which, among other things, promotes the understanding of a carnivalized view of the world. In that carnivalized world, replacement of the old with the new, resistance to endings and, consequently, myriad beginnings, doublings, repetitions and inversions all work towards the re-alignment of self. For Mairi, this re-alignment, brought about by means of the interaction of the authoritative a d persuasive voices legitimately and optimistically allows resistance to closure as it waits for Nevermas.