Gods and Mortals

Gods and Mortals : Modern Poems on Classical Myths

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More than perhaps any other folkloric tradition, whether oral or written, the myths of classical Greece and Rome have survived and pervaded the consciousness of lands far-flung from their source. The mythic world of the ancients, peopled by glamorous gods and unstoppable heroes, in which the mortal and immortal commingled, is even now a living presence in 21st century culture, rather than a literary relic. Whether we know them by their Roman or their Greek names - Artemis or Minerva, Poseidon or Neptune - the figures of these ancietn myths captured the imagination of culture after culture across the globe, inspiring writers, artists, musicians and those of us who comprise the audience for their works. Can it be a coincidence that the greatest poets of the western world have each at one point tried their hand at retellings? Kossman's anthology assembles some of the best of these poems inspired by ancient myths, organizing them by themse, and allowing the reader to compare one against the other - for example, one section assembels poems telling the stories of mythic lovers (Cupid and Psyche, Orpheus and Eurydice); another the many tales of miraculous transformations (Pygmalion and Galatea, Echo and Narcissus). With such a wide variety of the world's best poets to choose from - from all over the world and from any era since classical times - Kossman has had no difficulty creating a literary pantheon; included are D. H. Lawrence, Derek Walcott, Rita Dove, Denise Levertov, Rilke, Pound, and Yeats. The collection should be a treasure for the innumerable debotees of both myth and poetry.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 22.86mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195133412
  • 9780195133417
  • 834,903

Review quote

"Gods And Mortals is a fascinating collection of poems that brings together the classic and the contemporary, the 'old' and the 'new, ' in unexpected and startling ways. Nina Kossman has brought together a richly imaginative gathering of memorable work."--Joyce Carol Oatesshow more

About Nina Kossman

Nina Kossman is the author of several books of poetry in Russian and English as well as a collection of short narratives. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, hse has translated two volumes of Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry. Her fiction wona UNESCO/PEN Short Story Award in London and was broadcast on the BBC World Service.show more

Table of contents

Preface ; Introduction ; Titans ; Zeus ; Demeter ; Apollo ; Aphrodite ; Other Olympians ; Lesser Immortals and Near-Immortals ; The Way to the Underworld ; Lovers ; Transformations ; Trespassers ; The Condemned ; Heroes ; Crete ; Thebes ; After Troy ; The Wanderings and the Homecoming of Odysseus ; Index of Poets ; Glossary ; Acknowledgmentsshow more

Rating details

57 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 40% (23)
4 40% (23)
3 12% (7)
2 2% (1)
1 5% (3)
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