A New York Times Book Review “New & Noteworthy” Poetry Collection
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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.