The Houstiliad: An Iliad for Houston
In this savage yet beautiful book length poem Michael Lieberman captures the rage of men in modern society. He reimagines the characters of Homer's Iliad, recasts them, and sets them in conflict in today's Houston. Unflinching is its descriptions of violence, The Houstiliad implicitly contrasts the rage of Homer's Achilles which was specific and focused with the free-floating rage of contemporary men. Though unsparing in its descriptions, Lieberman's portrait is leavened by lovely lyric passages, reflection, and humor. For those who care about the complicated role of men in modern society this book is revelatory without promising an easy path to redemption or honor.
Achilles' wrath is where our tale begins
then spools out venom and men's mortal sins.
It's tempered true yet riffs on Homer's style,
suffused with guile, grit, and mordant wile.
* * *
Men savage men in violent travails
though in the end it's humor that prevails.
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