Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker’s The Antigone Poems  

3 Stars

The Antigone Poems trace a delicate anatomy of desire and loss. The images and text complement each other and drive towards an understanding of the divine. Intended as a retelling of Sophocles’ tragedy, this collection has a delicate subtlety that may, in fact be too subtle. While it is clear from the title that these are designed as a retelling, there are no clear parallels to draw between the work of Sophocles and this collaboration.

The artifact itself is beautiful, gorgeously printed on lovely paper. That said, every single page is blank on the back, with no clear indication of why, and without enforcing or engaging with the text, art, or overall poetics.

There is also a single moment in the text that completely pulled me out of the narrative. Feeling at best like authorial intrusion, and at worst like a confessional, this moment is an entire page of narrative prose in a text otherwise full of minimal free verse dripping with a clean lyricism. It was this, more than anything else that brought this book from 4 stars down to 3.

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