The Outer Banks

"The Outer Banks" was published in Goedicke's second book of poems For the Four Corners (1976).  In an interview by Debra Kang Dean and Connie Poten that appeared in the Fall 1999 issue of The Tar River Review, Goedicke discussed the policitical, ecological and personal resonances of the poem.  She states:

It's intriguing to me that we started off talking about the poem in the grandest possible terms--historically, sociologically, environmentally--whereas when I hear you talk right now, I realize that behind the poem is a very particular personal instance in which I was actually leaving my first husband...You know, I keep telling my students that to somehow or other get "beyond the self" is to go deeply into one's own seemingly private feelings as possible."

The various versions of the poem illustrate how Goedicke grounds the emotional and intellectual complexities in the poem within a specific, embodied experience. By blending the sensual experience of the Outer Banks with the more abstract concepts of loss and decay, Goedicke creates an "emotional and intellectual complex," Ezra Pound's definition of poetry that Goedicke quotes decades later to her graduate poetry workshop.