This first collection of poems by well-known fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay (Sailing to Sarantium, The Lions of Al-Rassan) is a mix of personal lyrics, travel poems, longer narrative pieces, and poems that reference various historical myths, especially those of ancient Greece. Many of the lyric poems concern Kay's relationships and separations. They are lightly emotive and at times bordering on the sentimental. The longer poems are somewhat stronger, especially the lovely, sad opening piece, which concerns a visit to Winnipeg, his childhood hometown, where "each address marks a grave" and his long-dead father has "more and more long years of being gone / still to come." The poems of travel are set in places such as Greece, Croatia, London, Cornwall, and Wales, and although they are poems of near and far, they always strike a personal note, being more about the poet's state of mind than the view from a window.
Part 3, which includes most of the mythological poems, is a classical forest of proper names that will send the reader back to Bulfinch's Mythology to seek clarification on Orpheus, Medea, Psyche, and others. The author is capable of some fine lines: "A song of loss . . . to bend the starlight / streaming to the world" and "He thrills to the tight hum / of the right words coming." Too often, though, the poems disappear into the personal and lack heightened language or complex rhythms. When Kay gets the tone right, however, with the perfect amount of low-key sentiment, sadness, or ebullience, as in his longer poems, the result can be engaging. --Mark Frutkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
. . . Kay has a gift . . . reading his poetry is like lifting a seashell to ones ear and hearing the distant echo of the ocean where it was born. -- Alma A. Hromic, SF Site, May 5, 2003
. . . these poems celebrate imaginative connection: to people, to place, and to both private and cultural history. -- Winnipeg Free Press, March 23, 2003
Kays images are translucent, his poetry modern in form and yet with an instinctive in innate classicism which speaks to me. -- Alma A. Hromic, SF Site, May 5, 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.