Orpheus & Eurydice: A Lyric Sequence

By Gregory Orr

How am i able to rejoice love/ now that i do know what it does? So starts off this booklength lyric series which reinhabits and modernizes the tale of Orpheus, the mythic grasp of the lyre (and father of lyric poetry) and Eurydice, his lover who died and whom Orpheus attempted to rescue from Hades.

Gregory Orr makes use of as his touchstone the statement that myths try to narrate an entire human adventure, whereas even as serving a function which resists clarification. via poems of passionate and obsessive erotic love, Orr has dramatized the anguished intersection of endless longings and finite lives and, within the method, explores the very assets of poetry.

When Eurydice observed him
huddled in a thick cloak,
she must have known
he used to be alive,
the method he shivered
beneath its lifeless folds.

But what she saw
was the standard: a stranger
confused in a brand new world.
And whilst she touched him
on the shoulder,
it was once nothing
personal, a kindness
he misunderstood.
To advisor someone
through the halls of hell
is now not similar to love.

"A reader strange with Orr’s paintings might be shocked, before everything, via the richness of either motion and visible element that his succinct, spare poems show. Lyricism can erupt in the course of desolation."—Boston Globe

When Gregory Orr’s Burning the Empty Nest seem, Publisher’s Weekly praised it as an "auspicious debut for a proficient newcomer…he already demonstrates a high-quality keep watch over of his medium." Kirkus Review celebrated it as "an nearly unbearably strong first ebook of poetry" and enthusiastically reviewed his moment booklet Gathering the Bones Together, noting that "Orr’s strength is the eloquence of understatement." such a lot lately, his City of Salt was once a finalist for the Los Angeles instances e-book Award. Gregory Orr teaches on the college of Virginia.

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His face softened. He sat down correct there within the stinking dust, chin propped on fists, listening. while Eurydice observed him while Eurydice observed him huddled in a thick cloak, she must have recognized he used to be alive, the way in which he shivered underneath its dead folds. yet what she observed was once the standard: a stranger burdened in a brand new global. And whilst she touched him at the shoulder, it was once not anything own, a kindness he misunderstood. to lead an individual in the course of the halls of hell isn't the similar as love. glance, they descend PERSEPHONE’S track OF WELCOME glance, they descend: gentle, water, all issues published search the earth. Why for those who withstand so insistently? Pushing away with every one step, you simply put off. All issues cross downward. Even the rocks settle and sink, even the vegetation bow. Orpheus stood at midnight… Orpheus stood at nighttime corridor and, along with his fingers at the strings and his sung phrases, attempted to conjure her physique out of empty air. all of the whereas, Eurydice used to be status in the back of him. He in basic terms needed to flip and she or he used to be there. The Ghosts take heed to Orpheus Sing He stood ahead of the throne and we stared, astonished, at his breath pluming within the chilly air. after which he strummed his lyre and sang the issues we knew and had forgot – the earth in all its seasons yet in particular spring whose kiss melts the icicle’s bone in order that the useless bush blooms back. He sang the luxurious wings intercourse lends. He sang the years passing like sparks flung at the hours of darkness: anvil, tongs, and hammer toiling at pleasure’s forge. final of all it was once loss he sang, how like a vine it climbs the wall, sends roots and tendrils inward, bringing to the guts of the toughest stone the deep bursting vacancy of tune. My physique was once by no means marred PERSEPHONE My physique was once by no means marred; no dart of Eros ever pierced my pores and skin. the place my center used to be a pomegranate is – how may perhaps I be moved? And but, as he sang, I watched light faces in our corridor of ghosts swaying like a meadow and reminiscence blossomed. I observed back my misplaced partners wandering in sun within the top air. I walked between them eco-friendly and careless, no longer listening to the rhythm of his chariot forthcoming, no longer but stuck within the sickle of his arm’s curve. on the field’s area I sought for lilies; by no means observed the god whom love had ravaged, myself the flower he’d come to assemble. simply because I sensed ORPHEUS simply because I sensed that love in hell was once a chilly factor, a coupling of statues (no grimace twisting positive factors, no moan escaping lips), I conjured Aphrodite, goddess of hope. earlier than their eyes she stepped from shell to shore in all her bare glory. And as she walked between them my syllables praised her logos, praised the leafy threshold and the golden bone, praised even her softest kiss that turns the thickest epidermis inside of out until it turns into all nerve, all tingle and balk. It damage me to listen to… HADES It harm me to listen to my topics – not anything yet ghosts, not anything yet grey husks – groaning aloud. His songs that mixed affliction and hope made their brows furrow, their placid faces lose all repose.

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