The poems of Ecstacies and Elegies are as engaging and virtuosic in their range of styles as they are generous in their imagery.
The way up and the way down are the same, said Heraclitus, and in this moving collection the ecstasy of love coexists with the grief of death; the pain of loss is in proportion to the longing for union. The poet is lifted up, flying over the earth’s surface like a bird; he climbs and descends the stairs of foreign cities; in the breakup of a relationship he looks up from the city pavement. States of illness are translated into lucid dreams. Tours in other countries discover an inner music. A fissure in reality opens up.
Paul Carter’s intuition that space is history has distinguished his cultural writing, public art and radiophonic scripting. In his first full length volume of poems, a celebrated debut, we encounter a startling overlay of immemorial myth and ephemeral urban encounter. Spirits of the classical world jostle with the sensory stimuli of contemporary domestic life. Desire tours a terrain of abysses.
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