My review of two collections of poetry by Judith Fitzgerald is in this weekend's Globe and Mail Books section.
The books are Adagios: Orestes' Lament and Adagios: Electra's Benison both published by Oberon Press. They are parts two and three respectively of her Adagios quartet, her own poetic interpretations of the myths surrounding the family of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.
Here's the review.
Your blog's very appealing visually, a fact which confirms your good taste for me; you understand this is a visual medium, something most writers and publishers fail to grasp (and, were McLuhan alive, I believe he would agree with me concerning this aspect of Cyberia — certainly, his son, Eric, does).
But, that's not why I'm posting this comment here. I write to thank you for your lovely and clear-sighted review I read Saturday in _The Globe and Mail_. It's not often the work of a poet — a designation I'm beginning to accept with Eliotic resignation, I guess — is treated with such intelligence and clarity. Clarity is the key; you've accomplished something few readers of my work have done, a fact Tom
Dilworth noted after he read the review. We were both pleased, of all the lines you chose to include, you selected the one reffing David Jones's _The Anathemata_, as well. (He is DJ's Official Biographer, BTW.)
I can imagine how much work went into achieving the simplicity you've managed to nail; and, truly, since I already admire your work (thanks to a friend of ours, Adam Levin, my protege of whom I am understandably proud and by whom I am always astonished and impressed), your aesthetic and critical prose simply cement my sense you're working at a level I find missing in so much of what passes for poetic discourse during these post-cultural times.
For that reason alone, I am reassured poetry is in good hands; but, this is personal and personally, I am simply grateful you've been so open, felicitious, and magnanimous in your reading of two of the four books in which I've lived this past decade. It is words such as yours that make the journey worthwhile and for this, I am thrilled and thankful both.
Salut! And, all best wishes to yours and you.
Undeniably, Judith Fitzgerald
p.s. My friend, Elizabeth, said she laughed out loud concerning your comment about Odysseus — me, too :)
ON JUDITH FITZGERALD'S ADAGIOS QUARTET:
"This is poetry of personal and cultural pain and rich, surprising linguistic play, modernist in economy, epic in dimension, bristling with intelligence, illuminated by psychological and spiritual vision."
— Killam Fellow Dr. Thomas Dilworth
Dear Mr. Vermeersch,
I am just writing to compliment you on your review of Judith Fitzgerald's Adagios in this past Saturday's Toronto Globe and Mail.
I have been a long admirer of Ms. Fitzgerald, and find her work to be both challenging and approachable, complex yet clear. She and I share a love of Eliot and Joyce and the Classics, and I often find myself thinking of those inspirations as I read her work. Her writing walks a fine line finely, if you know what I mean. Here in my hometown of Buffalo, New York, we have a vibrant literary community, and I have forwarded a link to your review to several of my friends.
I've not much else to say except thank you and keep up the good work!
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