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list price: $21.95
edition:Paperback
category: Poetry
published: April 2020
ISBN:9781552454114
publisher: Coach House Books

The Tower

by Paul Legault

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.95
edition:Paperback
category: Poetry
published: April 2020
ISBN:9781552454114
publisher: Coach House Books
Description

W. B. Yeats meets Gregg Araki at a gay bar. The Tower is a "translation" of W. B. Yeats's The Tower-an homage and reinvention of the poet's greatest work. Whereas Yeats's book contended with his mortality as an aging spiritualist Irish Senator, this version contends with a new mortality: ours.

The poems in this collection crystallize the transition from Legault's late twenties to his early thirties, situated in North America during a time of political upheaval. It takes each of Yeats's poems as a starting point and queers them. It translates Yeats's modernist urge, on the other side of a long century.

In her review of The Tower, Virginia Woolf says Yeats has "never written more exactly and more passionately." One might imagine she'd conclude the same here. You can't fault these poems for lacking passion.

Yeats used to talk to ghosts. His wife would let ghosts talk through her. They would talk to Yeats, and he would write down what they say. Another way you could put it is that Yeats talked to his wife. Ghosts are much closer than you think. They like to live in books. So Legault spent some time talking to Yeats's ghost. Or, Yeats's ghost talked to him. This is him talking back.

Contributor Notes

Paul Legault is the author of The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010), The Other Poems (Fence, 2011), The Emily Dickinson Reader: An English-to-English Translation of the Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (McSweeney's, 2012), Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror 2 (Fence, 2016), and Lunch Poems 2 (Spork, 2018). He also co-edited The Sonnets: Translating and Rewriting Shakespeare (Nightboat, 2012).

Editorial Review

On Lunch Poems 2 : "What is so great is that these shouldn't be great but they are. It's like clay keeps escaping the statue and making a blur. Like Frank and Paul are in an orgy together sometime somewhere and Paul suddenly (or maybe forever) leans his chin on his fist smiling and pleased (but not always happy) because he knows that it's great to be a poet - someone bursting out of a bag like a cat now and then just oh to be alive." - Eileen Myles

On The Emily Dickinson Reader : "You know the kind of joke that's super-hilarious but also points in some genius way to the whole thing of the universe? Like that." - Daniel Handler

"If you've never cared about poetry, you will after reading these modern-day renderings..." - Marie-Claire

"A valuable contribution to the field of radical translation." - Lambda Literary Review

"Sheer genius that begs to be recited aloud."-Daily Candy

On The Other Poems : "Samuel Beckett would love Paul Legault. Both boys know that when absurdity holds hands with characters on stage (or on the page), pathos ensues. These poems are brilliant gems of invention and lightly-finessed emotion. And very funny. I love them. Truly I do." - Mary Jo Bang

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