A New York Times Book Review “New & Noteworthy” Poetry Collection
A Book Riot “Best Fall 2020 Book in Translation”
Anthology. The Greek origins of the word gesture at a bouquet, a garland; “a flower-logic, a petal-theory, a blossom-word.” In Stone-Garland, Dan Beachy-Quick brings the term back to its roots, linking together the lives and words of six singular ancient Greeks.
Simonides: honest servant to patrons. Anacreon: lustful singer, living on in the work of his acolytes. Archilochus: cruel critic, beloved of the Muses. Alcman: who took birds as his teachers. Theognis: chronicler of human excellence and vice. Callimachus: cosmopolitan head librarian at Alexandria. These are the poets who appear in these pages, sometimes in fragments, sometimes in sustained glimpses.
Drawing inspiration from the Greek Anthology, first drafted in the first century BC, Beachy-Quick presents translations filled with lovers and children, gods and insects, earth and water, ideas and ideals. Throughout, the line between the ancient and the contemporary blurs, and “the logic of how life should be lived decays wondrously into the more difficult possibilities of what life is.”
Spare, earthy, lovely, Stone-Garland offers readers of the Seedbank series its lyric blossoms and subtle weave, a walk through a cemetery that is also a garden.
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Praise and Prizes
“As part of the publisher’s 'Seedbank' series, aiming to preserve endangered literatures, the poet Beachy-Quick offers a modern gloss on six ancient Greeks.”
“Sixth-century BCE Greek lyric poets Alcman, Theognis, Simonides, Anacreon/Anacreonata, Archilochus, and Callimachus are beautifully translated by Beachy-Quick in this memorable and edifying collection, which presents excavated fragments meant to be sung or recited to music . . . This skillfully achieved collection is a necessary contribution to ancient translation.”
"[A] thoughtfully collected anthology of poems of the ancients—poems that despite their age sing with a fresh vibrancy. Beachy-Quick is both translator and guide through the stone ruins and his insightful and beautiful introductions to each poet are a joy in and of themselves. Part of Milkweed’s Seedbank Series that aims to preserve and bring ancient, historical, and contemporary works from cultures around the world to readers, Stone-Garland is a collection to cherish."
“To me, every book by Beachy-Quick feels like a beacon amid the chaos of contemporary life . . . [offering] new coordinates to triangulate one’s uncertain position in deep time.”
“Beautiful and understated . . . Beachy-Quick’s translations lean into the elegiac possibilities of these poems and poets . . . We grow old, as do our voices; we die; the best we can hope for is that the songs we sing will be picked up by others, turned into new forms, given new life, and that, for a moment, something of us might live again.”
“Dan Beachy-Quick presents an inspired and intricately-constructed collection . . . [an] enchanting, death-defying project.”