Basso – Catafalques

Catafalques: Poems, 1987–1989
Haunted by a sense of loss and foreboding, Eric Basso's fourth collection is rich in poems that "raise the quiet mutiny" against a withering cosmos. A dark magic works here, sustained by poetry that is often complex, ironic, disquieting, impassioned, and sometimes even wildly comic. In these pages, we are confronted with the poet in midair, the Walrus Voluptuary, a tree that becomes a woman, a man with the head of a black swan. But these bizarre beings are not fantasies. They exist in a world beyond apocalypse. The poet's resonant voice convokes a cycle of spellbinding images, both concrete and elusive, that are, indeed, "flares burning in the counterfeit night."
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