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The Mermaid Poems Paperback – February 2, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (February 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1105425312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1105425318
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,799,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Knox Martin, the great American painter is also a poet. He has demonstrated this in a deceptively slender blue folio that leaps and convulses in your hand after you read it.
The book is called The Mermaid Poems. Its opening epigraph is a short poem titled "The Mermaid" by Yeats, in which a mermaid embraces and makes love to a young male swimmer and drowns him as she clutches him to her in a fatal dive. Martin takes this elemental conflict between Eros and Thanatos as his theme, exploring and enriching its embodiment in the legend of Odysseus and the Sirens; the archetype that Robert Graves studied as the White Goddess; and a downward displacement of the Medusa myth. There are also echos of Yeats' Byzantium poems in the protagonist's wish and resistance to merge with awesome power and beauty that the mermaid represents, perhaps a reflection of the poet's attraction to what Yeats called "the artifice of eternity," when contemplating his options in old age. For now, however, the poet rejects the merger: he "has promises to keep" and if not miles, at least an interval marked by unspent creation, invention, and desire, before he sleeps.
When a painter who loves music takes up poetry, we are treated to a multi-media experience. The Sirens, be it recalled, sang irresistibly. Odysseus had to be bound to the mast of his ship to resist their music. Martin exploits this. She carols, she sounds, she flutes, rings, chitters and brays. The bewildering array of her voices engulfs him. The painter's infatuation with color and texture is everywhere in evidence in the poems: "Patches of emerald scales/ hot with day glow blue/ Hard all over like a baby/ pig/ Coral eyes, hair the colour/ of breezes that blow it about...
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Knox Martin is not only a brilliant painter, but also a poet ...
He merges his vision as a painter into the written word seamlessly and fearlessly.
One has to read and re-read the poems to fully grasp their complexity.
The Mermaid Poems are written with wit and candor, with erotic and sensitive undertones-genius.
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I have read and re-read my copy of The Mermaid Poems by Knox Martin and am stunned by them. Wonderful to read.
I cannot add to the review by Dr. William Fried. It is so complete.
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