By Marie Slaight
Altaire Productions and Publications, $39.95, 100 pages
The Antigone Poems is a collection of stark, simple poetry and intense, foreboding charcoal drawings by author Marie Slaight and artist Terrence Tasker. Dating back to the 1970s, the book’s back cover calls the collection an “intensely personal invocation of the ancient Greek tragedy.”
Divided into five chapters, Slaight’s stark, simple writing speaks volumes about pain, love, suffering and eroticism. The poetry is dark and sensual, occasionally disconcerting. One does not have to be familiar with the stories of Oedipus or his daughter Antigone to feel the power of the emotions represented in this collection. While the sexual content may feel a bit juvenile, over-sexed memories of their early twenties overwhelming to the reader, the writing is startlingly evocative, even in its simplicity.
The Antigone Poems reminds one of art school, regardless of whether or not a person actually went to art school; with its thick, textured pages, dark, moody charcoal drawings, and simple, erotically-tinged poetry, the book seems like something found at an independent bookstore that specializes in small-press publications, or maybe packed away with your mother’s college collections (it was written in the 70s, after all). And that’s a good thing. With this book on your coffee table, you’re slightly more cultured and certainly more hip.
Reviewed by Ashley McCall