Cosmos Texaco

Essay for Poetry Day 2020 with Ward Zwart

In Cosmos, Texaco, commissioned by Flanders Literature, poet Charlotte Van den Broeck and illustrator Ward Zwart try to work their way from the vast cosmos to the page of the poem and all the spaces that the poetry occupies in between. They are guided by Georges Perec’s taxonomic study of space (Espèces d’espaces, 1974) and, on their reverse journey, investigate how poetry ‘brings paper space to life’ and how the poem extends beyond the edges of the page. They will inevitably go astray, take a wrong track, seek a false point of view, take too long detours, don’t take a leap, feel fatigue in their legs … but oh well, that is typical of frightened but enthusiastic adventurers.