Trigons derives its title from an obscure Roman ball game mentioned by Petronius in Satyricon. The word also has meanings in the fields of music, astrology, gemology, architecture, poetics, and comic book illustration, all relevant to this book that is sub-titled "Seven Poems in Two Sets and a Coda." Trigons shares something of the same spirit as Matthias's two most extravagantly inventive experimental sequences, Automystifstical Plaice and Pages: From a Book of Years. In an essay on Matthias's cycles and sequences from the 1970s through the present, Mark Scroggins has said that Trigons explores the poet's "usual historical and literary obsessions, this time revolving much around the Second World War" through a series of surprising juxtapositions like that between the Nazi Rudolph Hess and his contemporary the English pianist Myra Hess, or the discovery made during the book's composition of yet another John Matthias, this one a British composer and neurophysicist" who becomes a shadowing doppelganger in this book in which both music and neurology play a highly significant role.
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