I gather (from a Guardian interview) that poet and foundation director Edward Hirsch, once published A Poet’s Glossary. It took a decade to compile and run 700 pages. In the glossary Hirsch defines “elegy” as “A poem of mortal loss and consolation.” It’s function: “The elegy does the work of mourning,” Hirsch argued, “it allows us to experience mortality. It turns loss into remembrance and it delivers an inheritance. It opens a space for retrospection and drives wordless anguish, wordless torment toward the consolations of verbal articulation and verbal ceremony.”
I guess Lost and Found is my elegy sketchbook, my sheaf of notes and rough drafts. I hope you don’t get splinters, reading this.