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To These Dark Steps
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. May 2012)
The Weighing of Souls
What of the anonymous faces poking
Gabriel Levin’s fourth collection moves from the Mediterranean world that has engaged his imagination for the last thirty years, to the sombre title sequence written in the shadow of Israel’s bombardment and incursion into Gaza in 2008. These striking poems and their prose commentary (‘The Fathers are Watching’) navigate between the depredations of war and the mind’s need to disengage itself from its surrundings. The atonal, dissonant, radical music of the moderns – Webern, Messiaen, Bartók, Ligeti, Feldman – provides the emotive power, the retreat, and the solace from which to speak privately of the public arena of warfare.
The final section of this articulate and compassionate book is a fifteen-sonnet cycle dispatched from the shores of an unnamed island, which could be everyman's abode, in search of what might lie yonder.
Praise for Gabriel Levin 'This is an exquisite book. It is not often that one journeys through poetic lands with such breathless anticipation as I have done through The Maltese Dreambook...like all good poetry, his verses are multi-layered and demanding...Coleridge believed that language is the vehicle through which divinity passes into humanity and that poets are the true guardians of it. In Levin one could not wish for a more passionate and imaginative guardian.'
Sonja Besford, Ambit
'The poems are richly layered, musical explorations of the act of translation, from experience into art, and from the ancient world into the present...Given the realized ambition, technical achievement and stunning visual quality of this collection, Levin, for the foreseeable future at least, seems similarly set to stay.'
Sinead Morrisey, PN Review March-April, 2000
'Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the poet Gabriel Levin has written another erudite, modernist and intellectually stimulating volume, Errant.'
Peter Lawson, The Jewish Chronicle
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