Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
"This is the most strangely beautiful book to come across this desk in a long time. First, it's always interesting to have a publisher print a work 40 years after it's written without disclosing why. All that we know is that the writer and artist lived in Montreal and Toronto in the 1970's. I guess Tasker's death in 1992 has something to do with this premiere.
First we should know something about Antigone in literature. Well it's an ancient Greek tragedy where Antigone, the female protagonist, is ultimately jailed and sentenced to death, and all you need to know is that everyone--all the principles--die in the end, except for the prison guards. I'm not being flippant, but truthfully, to read these poems, that's all you need to know.
And I ADORE these weird little poems. They are surreal and wild. The charcoal drawings are terrifyingly brilliant. They scare the bejesus out of you and you can't stop turning the pages. It's like bingeing on BREAKING BAD and WAKING THE DEAD both at once. I deem this a holy book--written in ecstasy and the madness of genius and I hope it's reprinted and lasts forever. The poems are untitled. Check this out:
We live our lives
The instant between life and death
To touch death always,
That is the sun.
This copy I hold in my hand--no one will ever get from me. This is ART you cannot buy or sell. It is the flaming center of the volcano that makes us create." Grace Cavalieri, The Washington Independent Review of Books
"Haunting. If one word describes Marie Slaight’s The Antigone Poems, this is it.
The collection of poems, some only a fragment of a thought, others filling the page with a stream of consciousness narrative, tells the story of Antigone from the first person perspective of Antigone herself. Loosely based on the Greek myth of Antigone, who inevitably suffers as a rebel in her family, the poems are filled with anguish, emotional violence and suffering. However, Slaight comments near the end of her book that she wanted to “live all lives, all deaths, encompass all women.” Thus the pain, anguish, and suffering in this book applies to more than just the doomed Antigone of Greek mythology; it applies to the collective suffering of all women.
The tone of the poems is understandably dark considering the subject material, and the periodic charcoal drawings by Terrence Tasker only enhance the haunting nature of the story told by Slaight. Furthermore, the poems are delivered from a deeply personal and intimate viewpoint, so the reader is often tied directly to the emotions of the speaker. The often short form of each poem also helps add an intimate feeling as each poem seems to represent a separate thought about Antigone’s torment.
For those who are not familiar with the original roots of the Greek myth involving Antigone, some readers may have little grounding to understand the greater narrative taking place in the poems. For this reason, some research or prior knowledge is helpful to understand the basis of the collection. Nevertheless, as already pointed out, this collection encompasses more than the sufferings of a single woman; it involves the torment of many.
Overall, Slaight’s The Antigone Poems, written in the 1970s and never released until now, is a disturbingly poignant and startlingly vivid portrait of one woman’s suffering in the face of pain and heartbreak. It will surely not be forgotten after the turn of the last page." The San Francisco Book Review
"Rich in allegory and metaphor, this illustrated collection of poetry explores the tragedy of Antigone, the defiant woman of Greek myth.
With a strong first-person narrative, the collection is divided into five chapters featuring fragmented poems that explore love, loss, passion and pain through Antigone’s eyes. The book opens with a riveting prelude: “And sing / my bitter praises / to nails / and flint / and flesh.” As the collection moves forward, Slaight continues with poems that are spare yet precise in their language and construction. The first chapter introduces Antigone as a woman awakening, through pain, to her senses as well as to her vulnerability and power: “The passion comes angrily…then the awakening of all senses, nerves—open, alive, tingling.” However, there’s no consistent narrative thread to follow through the collection; rather, fragments and images capture Antigone’s journey. Some of the stronger lines focus on her insight into her role as a rebel: “All love pains / Are an aged protest / Wanting fresh surge; / Decrying the ancient throb / Of memories.” Slaight’s poems also use this close first-person perspective to unpack Antigone’s struggle for independence and identity as a woman—“Fought order, limits, time.” It is not exactly clear why Slaight focuses more on Antigone’s suffering and less on her rebellion from Creon, ruler of Thebes, though a later chapter provides a transition into her exile: “I walk on blood / I carve a vein / I bear sons / In exile / I carry screams / I seek revenge / I await return / In exile.” Throughout, Tasker’s haunting charcoal drawings reflect the tone of anguish and despair in Slaight’s poetry.
A beautifully bound, impressive collection with language as evocative as its illustrations." Kirkus Reviews
An intensely personal invocation of the Sophocles tragedy, The Antigone Poems questions power, punishment and one of mythology's oldest themes: rebellion. Created in the 1970s while writer Marie Slaight and artist Terrence Tasker were living in Montreal and Toronto, its poetry and images capture the anguish of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition. The work's obsessive, ritualistic and ultimately mysterious force brings into sharp focus the heroic, tragic figure at the centre of the primordial compact between gods and humans.See all Editorial Reviews
I’m not sure I’ve ever fallen in love with a poetry collection but I have with this one. The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight are hauntingly dark and beautiful and the charcoal... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages
We live our lives The instant between life and death To touch death always,
That is the sun.
First I read the book straight through. Read more
Is afraid to speak
Of the brutal metal
Of its words.
Words that scrape
Words that scar
Words that have no... Read more
This work mixes poetry, stream-of-consciousness, and art, in a lovingly crafted production. The pages invite touch. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sarah Elkins
"And sing/my bitter praises/to nails/and flint/ and flesh."
The first chapter opens with Antigone as a woman awakening... Read more
A short collection of beautiful, heart-rending poems inspired by the story of Antigone, but are truly about the poet's own pain. Read morePublished 10 months ago by James Kelly
I enjoyed this book immensely. I am a keen reader of poetry of all kinds.
This book was a combination of extremely powerful poetry by Marie Slaight, accompanied by... Read more
This is an exquisitely produced book, whose elegant sepia charcoal drawings are worth anyone looking out for this volume (I was lucky enough to get it through Early Reviewers but... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lisa Rull
Beautiful book. The poems reminded me of war poetry. Great read.Published 10 months ago by Melissa Joy