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Athena Becomes a Swallow and Other Voices from The Odyssey
Athena Becomes a Swallow and Other Voices from The Odyssey

Athena Becomes a Swallow and Other Voices from The Odyssey

Brent MacLaine's elegant, capacious, and finely crafted fourth collection, Athena Becomes a Swallow, contains twenty-seven monologues spoken by characters that appear in Homer's The Odyssey. These are not the voices of the major players, but the voices of the minor characters who received scant attention in the original. Here they are allowed to have their say about the events that swirl around them, providing a new persepctive and showing how the shine of the gods also falls on the common folk.
Brent MacLaine teaches modern literature at the University of Prince Edward Island. His poetry collections include Shades of Green, These Fields Were Rivers, and Wind and Root. MacLaine has won the PEI Milton Acorn Award for Poetry and the Atlantic Poetry Prize.

"A classic in terms of psychological depth, creativity, style, angle, and theme... It's rare that one reads a 90-page collection of poems filled with so much craft, wit, and brilliance." — Arc Poetry Magazine

"Exploring the nooks and crannies of Homer's great epic poem, Brent MacLaine casts a kind of anti-Circean spell, granting a deeper humanity, a lyric consciousness, to figures half-hidden in shadow, fate-gripped. As the monologues build, this cadenced talk of laundry maid or beggar or musician becomes a meditation on poetry itself." — Mary Dalton

"'My imprint keeps. I shall be transformed,' says the scribe in one of these vivid monologues. MacLaine's own imprint keeps, and we are transformed — enchanged by rhythms that catch the throat-sounds of unsung heroes, and by luminous visions seen through their eyes, as his art turns ‘rounded underwater stones to gold.'" — John Reibetanz

96 pages
Pub date: September 11, 2009