Lyrics For The Bride Of God
Poetry by Nathaniel Tarn
Nathaniel Tarn’s Lyrics for the Bride of God, a book-length poem composed over the course of five years, represents the author’s most sustained effort since The Beautiful Contradictions (1969). The Bride, first appearing at the end of that volume, here dominates the entire work in fulfilling her ultimate kabbalistic task: the return of the holy sparks, dispersed among mankind at the creation, to their original Source. In this, the Bride undergoes exile in the guise of a very human woman––constantly changing identity, species, race, color, age, and even sex; ranging through many different mythical and historical settings; raising a host of political issues from ecology to feminism: and creating, against Tarn’s anthropological background, an astonishing cosmos propelled by the eternal interaction of male and female. Perhaps the author’s most dramatic work, the Lyrics reflect a time of personal tension and loss, a time of exile from Europe transformed into a fervent adoption, on a continental scale, of his new American milieu. Overall, it is Tarn’s expansive, energetic woridview that makes the work cohere. At a time when so much poetry lacks either head or heart, Tarn clearly hopes that, in the Lyrics, both have full sway.