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After Greece: Poems (New Odyssey Series) (New Odyssey Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for After Greece: Poems (New Odyssey Series) (New Odyssey Series) by Christopher Bakken...

Both 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 hellenized 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 realitieis of the modern Balkans. Looking through these poems into artifacts 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.



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Item Specifications...


Pages   62
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2001
Publisher   Truman State University Press
ISBN  1931112010  
ISBN13  9781931112017  


Availability  104 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 28, 2017 02:34.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Christopher Bakken


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christopher Bakken is Associate Professor of English at Allegheny College. He is the author of "Goat Funeral" and "After Greece. "His poems, essays, and translations have been published widely in U.S. and in Europe.

Christopher Bakken was born in 1967.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > British > 20th Century
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General



Reviews - What do customers think about After Greece: Poems (New Odyssey Series) (New Odyssey Series)?

A moving read  Jun 19, 2001
A profound sense of history (the very moving history of Greece) haunts this writer and these strong, strong poems. I loved the clarity and music here, the lyric sweep, the sensual depth, the vision. Very much worth checking out.
 
Sore Loser  May 26, 2001
Readers interested in Christopher Bakken's After Greece but deterred by the harshly critical review posted here as "Turnip Juice" should ignore the first two paragraphs of that review and skip to the end, where the writer advises readers to "borrow [After Greece] from your friends who lost the T.S. Eliot Prize and got a 'free' copy." The knowledge that losers of this contest received a free copy of the winning book immediately identifies the writer from Dallas as one of those losers, and a bitter, graceless loser at that.

More importantly, reviews like "Turnip Juice" point out a serious flaw in the this site "open review" policy: without screening, anyone with a personal vendetta can have their opinion posted in a place that could have an actual impact on the book's sales. If you want to find out more about After Greece, wait until reviews appear in reputable journals, where the editorial staff will make sure that the review writer is qualified (unbiased) to review the book. Or, better yet, buy the book yourself and make up your own mind.

 
Turnip Juice  May 5, 2001
Christopher Bakken's _After Greece_, which won the 2001 T.S. Eliot prize, gives a whole new meaning to the word `boring'; as a sleep aid, it leaves Vicks' NyQuil in the dust. The reader suffers through yet another lifeless collection of contemporary academic poems--if you tried to bleed that book, you'd get turnip juice out of it, a pale liquid as thin as green tea and a whole lot less flavorful.

Rilke wrote that the poet is "holding far into the doors of the dead / a bowl with ripe fruit worthy of praise." In his long string of ekphrastic poems written in Greece, Bakken certainly got hold of the bowl, but the fruit is conspicuously absent. He made the classical mistake Nietzsche tried to warn us against in _The Birth of Tragedy_; instead of working hard to reach a balance between Apollo and Dionysos, he opted for reason and order and totally forgot the darker, but far more alive, side of human experience. Finishing _After Greece_, one feels glutted with artifacts and wants to ask Bakken if he lives in a museum. Where are his friends and family? Does he ever feel love, lust, or despair? What would he die for? Even his lover becomes a background for more sacred caves, statues, and temples, more history and dust-a prop.

The tepid style of _After Greece_ bothered me even more than its soporific content. I'm speechless that Neil Arditi could describe Bakken as "a master craftsman." Bakken's style is, at best, indistinguishable from that of a thousand contemporary poets; at worst, it's something I wouldn't let my Introduction to Creative Writing students get away with. For example, "Home Thoughts, from Abroad" starts with this memorable line: "Even farther than that, the first thing that goes..." The sentence structure is awkward; the line does not contain any concrete noun to grab the reader's attention, and the only verb is a weak `goes.' This line is like a crushed beer can at the bottom of the ocean, so battered that no hermit crab with a bit of self-respect would want to live in it.

Don't buy _After Greece_, but borrow it from your friends who lost the T.S. Eliot Prize and got a `free' copy. Borrow it, and read it; twenty years from now, Mr. Bakken will be struggling to destroy all the leftover copies of _After Greece_. Knowing that someone, somewhere, has read it will be his punishment. Meanwhile, spend your hard-earned cash on Cathy Smith Bowers' _Traveling in Time of Danger_, a far messier, riskier, and sweeter book.

 
A Young Master  May 4, 2001
The title of Christopher Bakken's fully achieved first book of poems--"After Greece"--has multiple meanings. On the one hand, it alludes to the title of a poem by the late James Merrill, and Bakken is very much a poet of the line of Stevens, Frost, Bishop, Swenson, and Merrill. Like them, Bakken is a master craftsman. Like Merrill in particular, Bakken spent (and continues to spend) a significant portion of his days in Greece. Many of his poems juxtapose the ancient ruins of the West (and Byzantine East) with the holocaust-haunted,forever suprising,forever contradictory world of modern Greece. But the jutapositions are themselves mysterious, elegiac, epiphanic riddles. In its broadest sense, "After Greece" signifies our situation, late in the game of civilization. More narrowly, Bakken confronts the challenges of a neo-Romantic, modern American poet whose belated pilgrimage to Mount Helicon is overdetermined, almost absurdly so. But Bakken turns his lateness into an ever early candor. He has the lyric gift, the formal mastery, the wit and strength of invention, to make new myths--myths of self-creation in a world in which the sun must bear no name.
 
a young master  Apr 28, 2001
The title of Christopher Bakken's fully achieved first book of poems--"After Greece"--has multiple meanings. On the one hand, it alludes to the title of a poem by the late James Merrill, and Bakken is very much a poet of the line of Stevens, Frost, Bishop, Swenson, and Merrill. Like them, Bakken is a master craftsman. Like Merrill in particular, Bakken spent (and continues to spend) a significant portion of his days in Greece. Many of his poems juxtapose the ancient ruins of the West (and Byzantine East) with the holocaust-haunted,forever suprising,forever contradictory world of modern Greece. But the jutapositions are themselves mysterious, elegiac, epiphanic riddles. In its broadest sense, "After Greece" signifies our situation, late in the game of civilization. More narrowly, Bakken confronts the challenges of a neo-Romantic, modern American poet whose belated pilgrimage to Mount Helicon is overdetermined, almost absurdly so. But Bakken turns his lateness into an ever early candor. He has the lyric gift, the formal mastery, the wit and strength of invention, to make new myths--myths of self-creation in a world in which the sun must bear no name.
 

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