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While poetry is narrowing its concerns, Tarn risks a scale epic enough to contain mountains and oceans. He keeps his lines of communication open to more than one life form, with a prophetic sureness of direction.

—Geoffrey O'Brien, Village Voice

A new collection by America’s internationalist poet—“a vision both original and universal” (Octavio Paz)


Gondwana

Poetry by Nathaniel Tarn

Gondwana: an ancient supercontinent long dispersed into fragments. Contemplating the ethereal blue is of Antartica, once part of it, Nathaniel Tarn writes in the opening section of his magnificent collection: "They said back then/ there was a frozen continent/ in those high latitudes encircling globe:/ are you moving toward it?"From there, the rising and falling stairs at Fez in Morocco meld into a cantata on marriage, empire, and the meditational nature of climbing. In a series of beautiful, short poems "Il Piccolo Paradiso," Tarn creates a haven of home, bird flight, and innvervating fligh. In another section, the heroic WWII fighter Pilot Lydia Litvyak is personified as Eurydice speaking to her lover captain, Orpheus. The book concludes with the powerful poems of "Exitus Generis Humani," its polyphonic lines slowly pouring over the reader in a mournful, yet often humorous, reverie that reveals allegiance to Earth as the essential divinity, while calling for radical change if we want to prevent a definitive ending.


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published June 27th, 2017
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