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Categories: 21st Century, American, French, Jewish, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (64 pages)
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Errant, Gabriel Levin’s sixth collection, opens and ends with invocations: of Venus at dawn and Hesperus at dusk. The book’s day takes us on a three-part planetary journey. ‘What Drew Me On’ is inspired by Tamara Rikman’s free-floating works on paper and by Plato’s image of the music of the spheres. Ghostly presences are evoked in several poetic forms, including terza rima for the poet’s take on image-making down the ages. ‘First came sooty beings shinnying up walls.’
There are elegies to the cineastes Abbas Kiarostami and Chantal Akerman, as well as translations from Greek and (in villanelle form) from the Medieval Hebrew of Avraham Ibn Ezra. There are aubades, lyrics, and a sequence arranged in short-lined triads of psychic retreat in Jerusalem. The wanderer picks up where he left off in earlier books, striking out from home, conjuring Sa’adi’s Gulistan or Nasir-i Khursaw in Cairo; pocketing bits of obsidian on the island of Melos, paying homage to Yannis Ritsos in Crete.
'Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the poet Gabriel Levin has written another erudite, modernist and intellectually stimulating volume, Errant.'
Peter Lawson, The Jewish Chronicle
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
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