What the Body Told You, a volume of poems by the Cuban-American poet Rafael Campo (b. 1964), addresses how formal poetry may give form to loss and memory in the age of AIDS by structuring an exchange between the literary institutions that privilege poetry as a representational medium and the inability of language adequately to account for and remember loss. Campo’s What the Body Told haunts modernism’s legacy by construing it as the corpus delicti, literally the body of the crime, where “crime” is conceived as the insufficiency of modernist aesthetic agencies to give evidence of the “truth” about the body.1 Campo’s ghostly demarcations of the corpus delicti, through a search for keener sounds, are established in his implicit dialogue with modernism in general and with Wallace Stevens in particular.

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Copyright © 2001 Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal 25:2 (2001), 220-231.

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