Gondwana
Gondwana
Poems
Nathaniel Tarn



Nathaniel Tarn
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, 261 Columbus Ave. San Francisco, CA, Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

reading from his new collection of poetry

Gondwana

from New DIrections Publishing

Gondwana: an ancient supercontinent long dispersed into fragments. Contemplating the ethereal blue is of Antartica, once part of it, Nathaniel Tarn writes in the opening section of his magnificent collection: "They said back then/ there was a frozen continent/ in those high latitudes encircling globe:/ are you moving toward it?"From there, the rising and falling stairs at Fez in Morocco meld into a cantata on marriage, empire, and the meditational nature of climbing. In a series of beautiful, short poems "Il Piccolo Paradiso," Tarn creates a haven of home, bird flight, and innvervating fligh. In another section, the heroic WWII fighter Pilot Lydia Litvyak is personified as Eurydice speaking to her lover captain, Orpheus. The book concludes with the powerful poems of "Exitus Generis Humani," its polyphonic lines slowly pouring over the reader in a mournful, yet often humorous, reverie that reveals allegiance to Earth as the essential divinity, while calling for radical change if we want to prevent a definitive ending.

Nathaniel Tarn is a Franco-American poet, essayist, anthropologist, and translator. He has published some thirty books and booklets in his various disciplines including Lyrics for the Bride of GodIns and Outs of the Forest River, Old Savage/Young City, and Outs of the Forest Rivers with New Directions. He has been translated into ten foreign languages. His collected papers are housed at Stanford University.