Macbeth in Venice (Penguin Poets)

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9780142003022: Macbeth in Venice (Penguin Poets)

One of the most technically gifted poets of his generation, William Logan here presents four sequences, each of which is haunted by the battered history of the enchanted city of Venice: two refugees from Nazi Germany replay a version of the Aeneid that shadows their lives in and out of Venice; the comedy of Tiepolo's Punchinello drawings are given mocking narrative; a modern traveler finds in Venice's insects, birds, and fish a nature that endures within an unnatural city; and, in a formal sequence reminiscent of W. H. Auden's "The Sea and the Mirror," King James commissions a revision of Macbeth in order to impress the chief magistrate. These new poems showcase Logan's trademark refinement and erudition.

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About the Author:

William Logan is the author of five collections of poems, a book of criticism, and a book of essays on poets and poetry. He has won the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from The Academy of American Poets and has received the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. He teaches at the University of Florida, where he is alumni professor of English.

From Publishers Weekly:

Commencing with a revised Aeneid, as told by two WWII refugees making their way from Venice to London-"We had entered that wasp-waisted country/ with paper tags pinned to our wool coats// only our passports insisted where we belonged"-Logan, as readers have come to expect, here offers immaculately crafted poems well-watered at the trough of the Western canon. Although it is difficult to glean anything concrete about these two people, a persistent sense of mortality is evoked, which becomes an organizing theme of the book. A faux-narrative about Tiepolo's Punchinello comprises the book's middle section; Punch is cast as a kind of baffled martyr: "What have I done? poor Punchinello said." A vacation to Venice serves as subject for another long series; trips to the fish market, the glass-blower's studio and various Venetian landmarks are shadowed by mortality: "The canal boils to the pavement's edge// stalled gondolas lock their skin like peeling larvae." The collection concludes in a rewriting of Macbeth: Logan gives voice to an imagined Macbeth daughter, to Lady Macbeth's mirror, to the trees in Birnam Wood. Throughout, villanelles, pantoums, rhymed quatrains and squadrons of heroic couplets trumpet an indisputable technical finesse. If there's an allegorical recoding of the present in these past lives and modes, it is of an incredulous millennial culture of excess poised on the brink of devouring itself. But despite faultless crafting and the fact that all roads lead back to Venice, the stakes aren't spelled out in a manner that will be compelling, or fully comprehensible, to many readers.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the most technically gifted poets of his generation, William Logan here presents four sequences, each of which is haunted by the battered history of the enchanted city of Venice: two refugees from Nazi Germany replay a version of the Aeneid that shadows their lives in and out of Venice; the comedy of Tiepolo s Punchinello drawings are given mocking narrative; a modern traveler finds in Venice s insects, birds, and fish a nature that endures within an unnatural city; and, in a formal sequence reminiscent of W. H. Auden s -The Sea and the Mirror, - King James commissions a revision of Macbeth in order to impress the chief magistrate. These new poems showcase Logan s trademark refinement and erudition. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780142003022

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