Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths

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Nina Kossman
Oxford University Press, 2001 M03 22 - 320 páginas
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For centuries, poets have looked into the mirror of classical myth to show us the many ways our emotional lives are still reflected in the ancient stories of heroism, hubris, transformation, and loss that myths so eloquently tell. Now, in Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths, we have the first anthology to gather the great 20th century myth-inspired poems from around the world. "Perhaps it is because the myths echo the structure of our unconscious that every new generation of poets finds them a source of inspiration and self-recognition," says Nina Kossman in her introduction to this marvelous collection. Indeed, from Valery, Yeats, Lawrence, Rilke, Akhmatova, and Auden writing in the first half of the century to such contemporary poets as Lucille Clifton, Derek Walcott, Rita Dove, Wislawa Szymborska, and Mark Strand, the material of Greek myth has elicited a poetry of remarkably high achievement. And by organizing the poems first into broad categories such as "Heroes," "Lovers," "Trespassers," and secondly around particular mythological figures such as Persephone, Orpheus, or Narcissus, readers are treated to a fascinating spectrum of poems on the same subject. For example, the section on Odysseus includes poems by Cavafy, W. S. Merwin, Gregory Corso, Gabriel Zaid, Louise Gluck, Wallace Stevens, and many others. Thus we are allowed to see the familiar Greek hero refracted through the eyes, and sharply varying stylistic approaches, of a wide range of poets from around the world. Here, then, is a collection of extraordinary poems that testifies to--and amply rewards--our ongoing fascination with classical myth.

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - Gregorio_Roth - LibraryThing

Great book that takes a modern look at classical greek mythology. A great reference to making the mythic relevant in this troubling time. Why Myths? -from the Introduction the editor Nina Kossman ... Leer comentario completo

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Página 17 - A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
Página 217 - Why should I blame her that she filled my days With misery, or that she would of late Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, Or hurled the little streets upon the great, Had they but courage equal to desire...
Página 149 - In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
Página vi - See, they return; ah, see the tentative Movements, and the slow feet, The trouble in the pace and the uncertain Wavering! See, they return, one, and by one, With fear, as half-awakened; As if the snow should hesitate And murmur in the wind, and half turn back; These were the "Wing'd-with-Awe,
Página 30 - BAVARIAN GENTIANS Not every man has gentians in his house in Soft September, at slow, sad Michaelmas. Bavarian gentians, big and dark, only dark darkening the day-time, torch-like with the smoking blueness of Pluto's gloom...
Página 31 - Reach me a gentian, give me a torch let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of this flower...
Página 217 - WHEN HELEN LIVED WE have cried in our despair That men desert, For some trivial affair Or noisy, insolent, sport, Beauty that we have won From bitterest hours ; Yet we, had we walked within Those topless towers Where Helen walked with her boy, Had given but as the rest Of the men and women of Troy, A word and a jest. ON THOSE THAT HATED " THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD...
Página 197 - What animal walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening...

Acerca del autor (2001)

Nina Kossman is a translator, poet, writer, and playwright. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a UNESCO/PEN Short Story Award, she has translated two books by Marina Tsvetaeva, In the Inmost Hour of the Soul and Poem of the End. She lives in New York.

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