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Poetica 5 'The Greek Anthology', as Cyril Connolly wrote, 'contains some great and some near-great poets, who would be quite unknown outside it, and who have still not received their due. Palladas, for example, who has touches of Swift and Juvenal, has never been properly put together'. Tony Harrison's selection of poems by the fourth-century Alexandrian epigrammatist compellingly recreates the bitter wit which he describes as 'the authentic snarl of a man trapped physically in poverty and persecution, and metaphysically in a deep sense of the futile'. As he writes in his preface, 'Palladas...is generally regarded as the last poet of Paganism, and it is in this role that I have sought to present a consistent dramatic personality...His are the last hopeless blasts of the old Hellenistic world, giving way reluctantly, but without much resistance, before the cataclysm of Christianity.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 48 pages
  • 136 x 210 x 4mm | 81.65g
  • Carcanet Press Ltd
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd
  • 085646127X
  • 9780856461279
  • 1,351,690

About Palladas

Tony Harrison was born in Leeds in 1937. He read Classics at Leeds University and spent four years in Nigeria and a year in Prague before coming the first Northern Arts Fellow in Poetry at the Universities of Newcastle and Durham in 1967-8. His major collections of poetry are 'The Loiners' (1970), from 'The School of Eloquence' and other poems (1978), and 'Continuous' (1981). His 'Selected Poems' (1984) is published by Penguin. He has been much involved with writing for theatre and opera in recent years; his version of 'The Oresteia', performed by the National Theatre in 1981, was the first translated work to be presented by a visiting company at the ancient Greek theatre of Epidaurus, and was awarded the European Poetry Translation Prize in 1983.

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Review quote

'Palladas is the coarse and bitter dregs of antiquity; yet after too much honey, too prolonged a sunset, what an admirable vigour... A second or third reading of this excellent book will be punctuated by explosions of bitter and grudging laughter; the first reading is likely to be stupefied...' - Peter Levi in the TLS

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