Sunday, 4 May 2014

Vaulting Iambs

Richard Kelly Kemick reviews Richard Greene's Dante's House in the Spring issue of The Fiddlehead (review isn't available online), giving special praise to the title poem:
"Dante's House," the titular piece, is an ambitious long poem written entirely in terza rima and centering around Siena's horse race, Il Palio. Because of the abundance of rhyme and metre within the poem, it is both highly original and oddly familiar. Greene commits himself unflinchingly to the form throughout the entire poem and "Dante's House" has a fierce musicality allowing it to be tremendously re-readable. Greene's ear for metre and adherence to the chain rhyme pattern entangles the reader in the plot of the poem. The form begs to be read aloud, accentuating the vaulting iambs and phonetic chimes. It is the equivalent of that chorus that so subtly creeps into your ear, goading you to chant percussive beats and miming the drum hit, followed by whatever else makes that second sound.

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