cover image Red Doc>

Red Doc>

Anne Carson. Knopf, $24.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-307-96058-0

Carson is one of the most famous poets writing in English; her many rabid fans await her new books with eager anticipation. A classicist by training, Carson has found, over a career spanning three decades and 14 books of poetry, prose, drama, and translation (often knitted together into unclassifiable collections), consistently new ways of reinventing the classical myths or of setting mythical material in a hip, jerky contemporary world. This new book is a sequel to the book that first made Carson famous, Autobiography of Red. It takes Geryon, the red demon-boy who starred in that book, ages him to adulthood, renames him “G,” and sets him loose in a confusing, fast-paced contemporary world. A kind of novel in (mostly) prose poetry, this book follows G through familial, erotic, and political discoveries on an eventual road trip with a lover named “Sad.” Throughout, Carson reveals a quirky wisdom, which feels as cool as it does true: “Time passes time does not pass. Time all but passes. Time usually passes.” (Mar.)