Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 1994.
A collection of poems from the author’s earlier books combined with a dozen new poems interweave memory and history.
The poems in Brenda Hillman’s new collection, a companion volume to her recent “Death Tratates”, offer a dynamic vision of a universe founded on the tensions between light and dark , existence and non-existence, male and female, spirit and matter. Informed in part by Gnostic concepts of the separate soul in search of its divine origins (“spirit held by matter”), this dualistic vision is cast in contemporary terms and seeks resolution of these tensions through acceptance.
It is savage and sophisticated, mischievous and majestic, witty and wicked. In its earthiness, its psychological acuity, it speaks over the centuries to our time. And with this new “fluid, readable, and accurate rendition” (Library Journal), the Metamorphoses for our age has been created.
The Metamorphoses is a treasury of classical myths, filtered through the far from reverent sensibility of the Roman poet Ovid (43 B.C.-A.D. 17). It weaves together every major mythological story to display a dazzling array of miraculous metamorphoses, from the time chaos is transformed into order at the moment of creation, to the time when the soul of Julius Caesar is turned into a star and set in the heavens. Through the poetic artistry of Allen Mandelbaum, this glorious achievement of classical literature, whose influence on English literature is rivaled perhaps only by that of the Bible, is revealed anew. Declared the Bloomsbury Review, “Mandelbaum’s Ovid, like his Dante, is unlikely to be equalled for years to come.”