Dances for Flute & Thunder: Praises, Prayers, and Insults : Poems from the Ancient Greek

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Viking, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 84 pages
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These poems are so direct and contemporary in feel they read as if they were written last year not 2500 years ago. It's no wonder they reached everyone in ancient Greece, from aristocrats, philosophers and statesmen to soldiers, beggars, and prostitutes. Then, poetry was sung. Now, readers still turn to Greek verse for its beauty and wisdom. However, despite many fine translations, the poetry of ancient Greece is not so widely read as the Psalms, Rig Veda, I-Ching. Brooks Haxton, who admits that he's less interested in scholarship than in the poems' effect and intensity, wants to change that. His Dances for Flute and Thunder should do the trick. These poems are vital. Turn to any page and you'll find the precision of sense and feeling that makes them truly timeless: "From her roost the water hen stretched out/her purple-green sleek neck, /the kingfisher's quick glance/shook droplets from his crown, /and I thought, love would always be/that brilliant on the wing and wild." Hayden Carruth describes Haxton's translations this way: "They are the best things of their kind....I don't know how you've done it. But I do know that I am enjoying them immensely, totally. I haven't one criticism, and that's, as you know, damned unusual for me. It's strange, isn't it? Brooks Haxton, who moves, eats, and sits at his table in Syracuse, New York, has made these marvels of permanency."

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DANCES FOR FLUTE AND THUNDER: Poems, Prayers, and Insults from the Ancient Greeks

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A sampling of some 38 poets from over 13 centuries of classical Greek poetry, much of it fragmentary and meant to be sung aloud. An amateur classicist, Haxton translates freely, with deliberate ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Brooks Haxton, born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1950, is the son of the novelist Ellen Douglas and the composer Kenneth Haxton.

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