Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-09-14
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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To read David Ferry's Bewildermentis to be reminded that poetry of the highest order can be made by the subtlest of means. The passionate nature and originality of Ferry's prosodic daring works astonishing transformations that take your breath away. In poem after poem, his diction modulates beautifully between plainspoken high eloquence and colloquial vigor, making his distinctive speech one of the most interesting and ravishing achievements of the past half century. Ferry has fully realized both the potential for vocal expressiveness in his phrasing and the way his phrasing plays against-and with-his genius for metrical variation. His vocal phrasing thus becomes an amazingly flexible instrument of psychological and spiritual inquiry. Most poets write inside a very narrow range of experience and feeling, whether in free or metered verse. But Ferry's use of meter tends to enhance the colloquial nature of his writing, while giving him access to an immense variety of feeling. Sometimes that feeling is so powerful it's like witnessing a volcanologist taking measurements in the midst of an eruption. Ferry's translations, meanwhile, are amazingly acclimated English poems. Once his voice takes hold of them they are as bred in the bone as all his other work. And the translations in this book are vitally related to the original poems around them.

Author Biography

David Ferry is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley College and also teaches at Suffolk University. In 2011, he received the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for his lifetime accomplishments.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Narcissusp. 3
Found Single-Line Poemsp. 4
One Two Three Four Fivep. 5
Soulp. 7
Untitledp. 8
The Intention of Thingsp. 9
Your Personal God (From Horace, Epistles 11.2)p. 11
Dedication to His Book (Catullus 1)p. 15
Brunswick, Maine, Early Winter, 2000p. 16
Martial I.101p. 19
Measure 100p. 20
Ancestral Linesp. 22
Entreatyp. 23
Octoberp. 24
Spring (From Virgil, Georgics 11)p. 25
Anguilla (Eugenio Montale, "L'Anguilla")p. 26
In the Reading Roomp. 28
Coffee Lipsp. 31
Incubusp. 32
At the Street Corner (Rilke, "Das Lied des Zwerges")p. 33
The Late-Hour Poemp. 34
At a Barp. 35
To Varus (Horace, Odes 1.18)p. 37
Somebody in a Barp. 38
In Despair (Cavafy, "En Apognosi")p. 39
Dido in Despair (From Virgil, Aeneid IV)p. 40
Catullus 11p. 42
Virgil, Aeneid IIp. 43
Thermopylae (Cavafy, "Thermopylae")p. 44
Street Scenep. 47
Willoughby Spitp. 49
Everybody's Treep. 54
The Offering of Isaac (From Genesis A, Anglo-Saxon)p. 61
Reading Arthur Gold's Poem "Chest Cancer"p. 69
Reading Arthur Gold's "Trolley Poem"p. 72
Reading Arthur Gold's Poem "On the Beach at Asbury"p. 74
Reading Arthur Gold's Poem "Rome, December 1973"p. 76
Virgil, Aeneid VIp. 80
Reading Arthur Gold's Prose Poem "Allegory"p. 82
Looking, Where Is the Mailbox?p. 85
Orpheus and Eurydice (From Virgil, Georgia IV)p. 89
Lake Waterp. 93
The White Skunkp. 96
Virgil, Aeneid VIp. 99
That Now Are Wild and Do Not Rememberp. 101
Untitled Dream Poemp. 102
The Departure from Fallen Troy (From Virgil, Aeneid II)p. 105
to wherep. 107
Resemblancep. 108
Scrimp. 111
Poemp. 112
The Birdsp. 113
Notesp. 115
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