POETRY READING IN LONDON
November 27, 2009
Oxford and Cambridge Club
In the KIng Edward VII Room,
Patrick gave a poetry reading in London from his new book
of poetry, CLOUD SHADOWS OF OLYMPUS (published in late December 2009).
Patrick has had poems published in such venues as YOUNG AMERICAN
POETS (1978), POET LORE (1978), CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER of Britain (1990-91, 2009) and CLASSICAL OUTLOOK (1991), among others. He is also
translating Greek poets such as Sappho. He won 5TH Prize in YOUNG
AMERICAN POETS (1978) for his poem "Ecce Homo". The Classical World
and antiquity in general inspire a considerable portion of his poetic
subject matter, such as in his poetry collections AREPO THE SOWER (1982) and WINGS OVER HELLAS (1990). Frequent travels in Greece and
Italy framed the experiences about which he often writes and his next
anthology will include poems from annual time spent in Sicily.
Patrick has also illustrated his prior book of poems, HOUSE OF THE
MUSE: Poems from the British Museum, published in the summer of
2005. In 2008 Patrick had a poem, "Kithairon" republished in the PENGUIN BOOK OF CLASSICAL MYTHS (see below). His most recent book of poetry, a collection of poems from 2006-2009, CLOUD SHADOWS OF OLYMPUS was published in 2009. In 2009-2010 poems of Patrick have been published, including "Delphi" in AKOUÉ of the American School of Classical Studies, "Pomona's Season" by the Classical Association of U.K. (Britain); "Iphigenia" in AMPHORA (American Philological Association); "Pindar's Final Ode" in MODERN AGE: A QUARTERLY REVIEW, and "Ode to Pheidippides" in AETHLON, among others.
He has also adapted an
unusual literary form - the palindrome poem - especially for myth. While the French poet Apollinaire wrote shaped poems, the
palindromic structure of a poetic literary unit whose words read forward and
backward is an ideal medium for the cyclical subject matter of myth. A few
of Patrick's palindrome poems - "Icarus" and "Labyrinth" - were previously
published courtesy of Martin Gardner, the former columnist of "Mathematical
Games" in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, in a journal called WORD WAYS in 1981.
Several of these new palindromic poems, written for and shared at the Sun
Valley Writers Conference 2005, are also offered here alongside some of
Patrick's previous ones. A book of Patrick's palindrome poems is also to be published soon.
Patrick's 1990 poem "Kithairon" was republished in Jenny March's PENGUIN BOOK OF CLASSICAL MYTHS (2008).
Pruning wild limbs on Mt. Kithairon
is no impediment to a vine god,
dismemberment to him is temporary
like the faith of mortals.
Here on this ivy mountain
some see his beard in the clouds
or his thigh knotted in a root.
But in the eyes of Pentheus
pruning was in troubled wood,
powerless to take root again
since his sad mother has both
knit and unknit the cloth of him.
Is it wind we hear howling on Kithairon?
Patrick's poem" Pindar's Final Ode" was published in MODERN AGE: A QUARTERLY REVIEW in March, 2010:
"PINDAR'S FINAL ODE"
Pindar would breathe sweet almond blossoms
one more time through his window,
see silver olive leaves wreathe a moon
for his final ode that night when Hermes came
silently, only a dawn wind whispered
setting star names in his ear. Hermes' staff, pointed
with its mating snakes full of earth magic downward,
touched ground and split it open like a fig
or pomegranate when it falls ripe and full.
Pindar could not lift his old head
when Hermes called but his soul obeyed.
One last glance at Argos deep in shadow
and pines southward on distant blue Taygetos
until Pindar followed Hermes' dancing foot
in his soul's own slow cadenza, his outward eye
closing but his inward eye awakening to asphodels
blooming bright at the gate of Elysium.
Patrick's poem "Iphigenia" was published in spring 2010 in the
American Philological Association's AMPHORA:
Let the wind's breath die first, others will follow.
Calchas trembles reading stars mirrored on livers,
comets fallen like spears, eclipsed moons
returning with a vengeance. Hordes wait
in the doldrums at Aulis in restless armor
but when they begin to leave, unraveling the borders
of his dream sails, a vain king loses more
than any false courage their numbers brought him.
Agamemnon has not chosen well so far,
will he sacrifice his pride on this altar,
give up his ships and the praise of men
or further dilute his faint father love?
Whichever is saltier, seawater or blood?
Deaf and blind to Iphigenia's tears,
he will not hear her doe-like cries softening,
he will not even hear either sound or fury
in this new wind slicing like a sword edge.
||Poetry in the Song of Songs 2008
Patrick Hunt has written a literary analysis of the Classical
Hebrew poetry in the biblical SONG OF SONGS - known in Hebrew as SHIR
HA-SHIRIM. Major figurative language devices in this
Hebrew poetry are annotated and examined (e.g., simile, metaphor,
paronomasia, euphemism, chiasmus, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, etc.) and often compared to Classical
literature in applying the traditions of Aristotle and Quintilian, among others.
Now available at Amazon.com
Patrick has also emphasized several obscure literary devices in Classical Hebrew not often published elsewhere
in prior literature (note Patrick's previous publications with Peter
Lang Verlag in Frankfurt, BEATAJ - Beiträge zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des Antiken Judentums - Bands 20 & 28). These obscure
literary devices are 'concealed paronomasia' and 'multiple sensory clusters'. Ancient literary criticism does not appear to have known Hebrew names
for them. This new book on the dense, subtle and likely erotic Hebrew poetry
of the SONG OF SONGS suggests parallels to much of the world's most
beautiful poetry both before and after and offers compelling reasons why
this biblical poetry is so rich.
Peter Lang AG Publishing Peter Lang Verlag -Vienna, Oxford, Frankfurt, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York,
New book by Patrick Hunt, 2008
Available at Amazon.com
In REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (July 2009) by Prof. Stefan Fischer, University of Vienna:
"...[Hunt] makes a significant contribution with his studies on subtle wordplay and clusters of sensory images...an extensive study useful for those who are interested in literary figures and creative allusions of extrabiblical texts...The strength of the book is the great knowledge of the author drawing on many sources, especially classical ones, pointing to many allusions..."
Read six poems excerpted from HOUSE OF THE MUSE
View Example Illustrations from 'House of the Muse'
Patrick Hunt has given many poetry readings over the years, among others in San Francisco (e.g., New College), in Berkeley (e.g., Pegasus Books), at Stanford University, in London (including at the Institute of Classical Studies and the Oxford - Cambridge Club), in Sicily (several private palazzi in Palermo and Siracusa) and Rome and Venice as well as other venues.