SQUARING THE CIRCLE: A Review of John Peck’s CANTILENA
23 July 2016, Hyperallergic.com.
Here comes John Peck, author of ten volumes of poetry, psychoanalyst, translator of Euripides and C. G. Jung’s The Red Book, a poet under-appreciated or unfamiliar to most, yet long and deeply admired by a cadre of serious poets and critics on both sides of the Atlantic. What are we to make of his magnum opus, CANTILENA, a long poem “in four spans” just out from Shearsman Books? This long poem consists of 328 cantos that incorporate elements of the literatures, philosophies, and religions of both West and East; the natural world and our predations upon it; the wars and bloody history of the human race; fragments of Peck’s own intellectual and lived experience; and the fields of mathematics, nuclear physics, and alchemy. With so many avenues of access, where to start?
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