The 1002nd Night

Debora Greger, Author Princeton University Press $11.95 (74p) ISBN 978-0-691-01492-0
Greger ( And ) could rightly be called a decadent poet. Her latest collection swells with florid description and easy assonances, glorifying in the delights of the senses. While seeming to affirm the Western poetic and cultural tradition, Greger attacks its rational heart. The subjects of her poems--Mozart operas, Botticelli's Three Graces, narcissus flowers--are the vestments of aristocratic Europe, but her poetic issue is stream-of-consciousness. Greger can't pry herself away from any image that signifies a sophisticated taste, like Audubon's Birds of America in her poem ``In the Elephant Folio.'' She devotes the entire poem (and the others in the collection) to a detached and meandering evocation of the thing described: ``it glosses / over kidskin slippers, tortoiseshell combs, / at no loss for weeds to wedge / between the moneyed bank and its own / murky business, host to more/than its mirror countenanced.'' As a whole, these poems don't effectively challenge accepted notions of art, even though their dense and obsessive imagery can be viewed as representing ironically the decay of a Eurocentric cultural tradition. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Hardcover - 84 pages - 978-0-691-06863-3
Hardcover - 88 pages - 978-0-691-63199-8
Open Ebook - 88 pages - 978-1-4008-6117-0
Paperback - 88 pages - 978-0-691-60252-3
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