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Ghazal of the Fiftieth Danaid

A.E. Stallings, 9 September 2021

... just the autumn, draining the chlorophyll again.The night sky is the hull of a sinking boat.Stars are the silver holes that drill and thrill again.Beauty leaks away, the face burns hot, Youth is the liquor no one can distill again.I steep and brew a bitter wakefulness:The kitchen’s nowhere engine whistles shrill again.At fifty, the matron turns from the ...

Peacocks

A.E. Stallings, 7 October 2021

... I speak to the unbeautiful of this bird.                                         James MerrillThe peacock thinks he can’t be seen:Stealthily towards the cat-food bowlHe stalks, while I’m behind the screenCoffee in hand: peacock patrol.More blue than the Saronic, greenAs bristles on Aleppo pines,Perhaps he thinks he only … blends?And often, as the day declines,A raucous mob of fowl ascendsTo virid roosts, while dusk definesThe drooped flabella of their tailsAnd flails of needles just the same ...

A Nony Mouse

Ange Mlinko: The ‘Batrachomyomachia’, 16 July 2020

‘The Battle between the Frogs and the Mice’: A Tiny Homeric Epic 
by A.E. Stallings.
Paul Dry, 109 pp., £19.99, October 2019, 978 1 58988 142 6
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by A.E. Stallings.
Farrar, Straus, 160 pp., £9.99, October 2019, 978 0 374 53868 2
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... Philhellenes of the Renaissance.Now comes a new translation in rhyming iambic pentameter by A.E. Stallings, with illustrations by the etcher Grant Silverstein. The handsome large-format book, and the ingenious heroic couplets recounting the deeds of ‘King Pufferthroat’, ‘Morselsnatcher’ et al, suggest Mother Goose or Aesop. That’s one way to look ...

Diary

Marina Warner: Literary Diplomacy, 16 November 2017

... creature or Jane Eyre, the persona of Augustine has a life of his own: such figures are figments that become autonomous beings, acting in further conversations between pieces of literature and imagination. ‘The tendency to weave stories where evidence is missing is the human brain’s sustaining feature,’ Nathan Heller warned in a recent ...

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