Winner of the 2001 T S Eliot prize. An account of travel and a collection of ecstatic lyrics, these poems excavate an idea of place, one layered deep for the poet and archaeologist to discover. We encounter the obsessions of a hellenic barbarian -- of an American poet residing in, not touring, an environment haunted by profane revelations and sacred commonplaces. We move beyond the crowded sites and restored monuments, to places where the presence of the ancient world is still palpable in the violent realities of the modern Balkans. Looking through these poems into artefacts and ruined places, we hear 'spirits of that barren landscape call out still', and we feel, again and again, what connects us to the past is stronger than what separates us from it.
About the author
Christopher Bakken was the winner of the 2001 T. S. Eliot Prize. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in The Paris Review, Gettysburg Review, Agni, Modern Poetry in Translation, Raritan, Lyric, and other publications.
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