- Lord Byron’s Foot
George Green is a pop-culture Juvenal, whose satiric strain is both trenchant and elegiac. The poems in Lord Byron’s Foot move deftly between the back alleys of Trieste and the parking lots of his hometown in Pennsylvania, between Chichester Cathedral and the downtown streets and parks of Manhattan where he has lived for three decades. Green’s range and depth of knowledge in these technically accomplished poems might be intimidating if not for the disarming delight and passion with which he engages his material and the bizarrely raucous humor in which the poetry often revels.
- All Nature Is a Sacramental Fire
The Lord God Creator has given us five openings to the physical world around us, that sacramental world in which we swim: hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell. The experience of each of these senses is sometimes sharp and clean; poignant, evocative, almost unendurable. In the lines of this collection, penned during sixty years, Michael Novak has sought to snatch from the flames of rushing time a few simple pieces, shards, remainders. “All Nature is a Heraclitean Fire,” a real poet wrote. Novak calls himself an amateur. But one who believes, however, that everybody should write poetry, or reach for it. It is the language of our soul. It is concentrated prose.
- Juliusz Slowacki’s Agamemnon’s Tomb
The importance of Juliusz Slowacki (1809–1849) as Poland’s second greatest Romantic poet, after Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1856), is a platitude. Yet, in the English-speaking world, Slowacki receives little more than honorable mention even among students of Slavic literature. The intention of the authors of Agamemnon’s Tomb: A Polish Oresteia is to focus on Slowacki’s use of Antiquity in his most famous lyric, Agamemnon’s Tomb, written in 1839.
- The Second Spring
In The Second Spring, the widely published author Joseph Bottum pens what may be the most original cultural undertaking in decades – an attempt to heal the damaged poetry of our time with an infusion of music, and an effort to strengthen the weak music of our age with an injection of poetry.
- Janet's Cottage
D.H. Tracy’s debut volume, winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize, marks a major event in contemporary poetry. Janet’s Cottage collects the richly textured, highly musical poems that have become Tracy’s hallmark in America’s finest literary journals, including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. Tracy brings buoyant wit and piercing intelligence to a range of poetic subjects, both intimate and domestic (“Janet’s Cottage”) and exotic and far-flung (“Impressions of the Tribeless”).
- The Cast of Valor
In stark and bracing contrast with the signature narcissism and self-pity of contemporary verse, The Cast of Valor is not “feeling verse,” nor is it confessional or even personal. This is true poetry, communal in the greater Christian tradition and anchored in universal human experience. Traditional English verse is employed by the poet in meter and rhyme, but the subject matter is far from archaic in theme and perspective. This poetry is universal in its consideration of historic parallels in individual, personal lives. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, and educated at Vanderbilt and Yale, Rollin Lasseter formed his poetic imagination half a century ago by his mentors in faith and verse – Donald Davidson, Cleanth Brooks, Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, and W. B. Yeats – and accompany the author into the religious challenges of the millennium. The modern soul is exiled from religious certainties and conventional understanding. It must either reconcile to permanent exile from the disorder of modern culture, or find the connection to Faith that would allow a permanent home in God’s order.
- Shakespearean Variations
In Shakespearean Variations, Ralph McInerny takes the first lines of the sonnets and their end rhymes, and composes sonnets of his own. The formal structure of the sonnet has always provided a salutary discipline for the poet – iambic pentameter, the delicate symmetry of octet and sextet, the closing couplet which epitomizes the poem. The stamp that Shakespeare put upon the form, the themes of love and death, age and youth, loyalty and betrayal, have come to seem to adhere to the very form.
- The Soul of Wit
Poems written in what, in the debased coin of chronology, can be called the golden years are not like those written in youth. In earlier volumes, Ralph McInerny has proved that Belloc has no equal in light verse (An Abecedary) and that the Bard cannot be approximated (Shakespearian Variations). In his latest collection, The Soul of Wit, he tries his hand at a variety of forms, preferring the formal comfort of more demanding prosody.
- The Fall and Other Poems
“New England comes to flower dying,” writes J. Bottum in The Fall and Other Poems. In this powerful new collection of poetry, he argues for the centrality of winter, spring, summer, and fall – mourning their loss of meaning, celebrating their symbolic power, and finding in their cycle a figure for God’s presence in the world.