By Edward Field
Box is one of the first American poets to jot down proudly and obviously approximately city homosexual life.This new-and-selected (Field's sixteenth publication of verse total) exhibits that his virtues—and limits—have remained constant all through. At his top box is direct, likable, modest, captivating, a storyteller : he writes purposefully and without delay of bathhouse existence within the Seventies, Jewish-American background, heart jap travels in a global the place, not like ours, males like one another; and allegorically of the Pacific octopus, who wishes love,/ who's a multitude if you happen to meet,/ yet who can open up like a flower with petal palms. At lower than his top, Field's unadorned type could make him sound predictable: his poems are just as attention-grabbing as their tales and concepts. these days there's not anything radical left, under no circumstances/ within the Village, he complains in a poem from the Nineties. a contemporary September 11 poem items to a gang of psychopaths taking on the govt.. Irreplaceable within the background of homosexual American writing, box helped invent many of the attitudes and the subgenres which are now in universal use. If a lot of Field's personal poems now look flat and dated, sufficient nonetheless appear clean to offer severe power to this e-book.
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Extra info for After the Fall: Poems Old and New
Is he indeed malign, tyrannical or inept, as is frequently asserted; is his omnipotence really cast in doubt by the fact of sin? Milton's earliest plans for Paradise Lost (circa 1640) envisaged a tragic drama, and Alastair Fowler suggests in the Introduction to his recent edition of the poem that we 'should even, perhaps, consider it a tragical epic rather than a pure epic'. t This notion of a 'tragical epic' is a useful corrective to over-rigid genre criticism, but is not without dangers of its own.
Moreover, the poem's triumph is to infuse into the word 'died' - the crowning desolation of Good Friday - the promise of resurrection and hope. Technically, the ease of the final line is reinforced by the metrical complexity which precedes it. In stress, the penultimate line is indetenninate. If one reads 'murderers' as three syllables, then 'there I' has to be compressed into the first (short) stress of an iambic foot, with a magnificent sense of speed and urgency; if one reads it as two syllables, 'there' comes with a heavy stress, and the last four words of the line seem long drawn out.
I Who can foretel for what high cause This Darling of the Gods was born ! Yet this is She whose chaster Laws The wanton Love shall one day fear, And under her command severe, See his Bow broke and Ensigns tom. 15 Happy, who can Appease this virtuous Enemy of Man! 10 20 o then let me in time compound, And parly with those conquering Eyes; Ere they have try'd their force to wound Ere, with their glancing wheels, they drive In Triumph over Hearts that strive, And them that yield but more despise. Let me be laid, Where I may see thy Glories from some shade.