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The Burning of Troy

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The Burning of Troy

By: Richard Foerster

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Regular price $ 15.50

About This Title

Winner, Poetry Category of the 2007 Maine Literary Awards

The Burning of Troy
was catalyzed by the rapid death of Richard Foerster's partner of fifteen years. These verses are a universal voicing of confrontation with mortality as well as a personal testament of loss. Foerster consciously employs distancing voices and devices, including references to Homer and Virgil as well as to Neolithic and Aboriginal cosmologies, among others. As always in Foerster's poetry, there is an attention to the natural world with its hidden symbolic and metaphysical resonances. The book's three sections form a multilayered progression, as the "I" becomes a bereaved hero who ventures beyond his personal grief into the larger world of history. The Burning of Troy has been selected winner of the Poetry Category for the 2007 Maine Literary Awards.

Cairns Birdwing

          Ornithopetra priamus euphorion

Thirty miles out, east of Opal Reef,
where we'd spent the day snorkeling,
a cloudbank suddenly flared above
the patinating sea. And idly, I imagined
a city's towers massed against the sky
and felt a heart-rush like splendor
before that image of consuming flame,

then came the pin-prick of a thought:
Was it beauty I'd kindled with that spark?
So when a handspan of black, green and golden
iridescence fluttered across the deck--
alighting nowhere, vigorous in its fragility
far from forest shelter--and winged off
out into the open Pacific toward that dying

brilliance, I shuddered for what I knew
was lost: Priam again "with Troy in flames
before his eyes, his towers headlong fallen."
Yet as we churned back to port in the ash
of evening and the image of that insect dwindled
to a mirage and a name, from within the taxa
of its being a euphoric wisdom began to burn.

© BOA Editions, Ltd 2006

Available editions:
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-929918-83-6
Price: $15.50
Publishing Date: October 2006