Bellini in Istanbul: Poems
"The event at the center of this refreshingly conceived cycle of poems is Italian painter Gentile Bellini's sojourn in Istanbul in 1479. Poems undulate out from this experience as the poet carves poetic sculptures that explore the themes of art, archaeology, and the idea of cultural transmission. These insightful contemplations are delicately honed by the author's own experience in Turkey, ultimately fashioning a mirror to history that reflects the landscape of self. Bellini in Istanbul has the finish of voice present in the best poetry, the report on experience and travel of the most interesting people, and the reflective tone of a cultivated inner voice. Though I treasure its descriptive pieces--Italian scenes, Turkish fish markets, comments on and condensations of The Blue Guide--what is the most touching are the poems that intermingle the exotic with the deeply personal--the assessment of a relationship gone bad in a foreign land, then considering a new one aborning; the carrying and birthing of a child thought in terms of Greek myth, and the crisp observations of the world turned into signifiers of the dreamwork which is poetry. Lillias Bever is a gorgeous poet, traveled and travailed, seeking a home in her own strophes."--Publisher's website.
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