Saturday, June 21, 2008

John Tipton: Four Fables

Four Fables, John Tipton (Answer Tag Home Press, 2007)


4 poems on ancient themes in this very brief, very beautifully-produced chapbook. "Medea" & "Ajax," sonnets in 7-word lines that update their subjects Christopher Logueishly, bookend. In between are "The Mark," spoken in the voice of Cain, & "Chased," a gripping bit of Herodotus. Tipton's prosody gets sparer & sparer, & his voice more & more resonant.
Reading Tipton's version of Sophocles' Ajax gave me a jones for Greek tragedy, which I haven't read at all seriously since undergraduate days. And eBay furnished me with a mint-condition box of the 4 volumes of the Grene/Lattimore Complete Greek Tragedy. Just read Agamemnon, & can confess only astonishment & creeped-out delight. This might be the side-reading project of the fall semester.

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