2007 • 76 pp. • $12.00
“Tim Atkins does for translation what Gertrude Stein did for nouns. He’s turned Horace inside out, and booby-trapped the works with strategically explosive pregnant shock and awe. Pope and Dryden have nothing on this guy: Horace has arrived.”
“The Latin Horace wrote, “Dulce est desipere in loco”—sometimes acting out is the best revenge—and here comes our contemporary, Tim Atkins, with a Golden Ticket to the Chocolate Factory. I’ve admired Atkins’ poetry for years but until now, I’ve known it only in bits and pieces. Today Horace finds him the room and the canvas to stretch out, in toga Augustan, dripping wet, while garlands of goldfish nibble his private parts from underneath. Like Noah and Anne Bradstreet, Horace is still a saint of repopulation and revival; he so loved the world that, in a rapture of naming, he invented the word for it. “Sometimes,” Atkins hears him say, “you just have to/ count the grapes & the plums/ or an empire will fall out.””
“When I heard some of these poems in Tim Atkins’ voice I was instantly interested and amused: my pleasure and enjoyment have continued, reading them.”
“A Horace very much in the vernacular and homophonic tradition of Rodefer’s Villon, and Mayer’s (not to mention Zukofsky’s) Catullus. This Horace, however, is well dusted with a dose of 21st-century British argo….I believe this the finest long poem to come out of Britain in a stadium of fortnights.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Atkins’s recent books include Petrarch (Barque Press), Horace (O Books), and 1000 Sonnets (if p then q). His next volume, Petrarch, is being published by Toronto’s BookThug, and The Tim Atkins Annual (a collection of plays, collaborations, cartoons, and poems) will come out in Christmas 2012. Atkins is also editor of the online poetry journal onedit (publishing work by Clark Coolidge, Jackson Mac Low, Alice Notley, Lisa Jarnot, and many young British poets) and is London correspondent for the New York poetry journal Lungfull.
ODES II / 1
All natural disasters war on the hole.
A cluster of black grapes emerge.
On the field of the cloth of gold
A wind puffs up
The Prime Minister
—done with his biblical spunks —stretching on his chaise longue
Sobs at the loss of 24 hour shopping
his broken off cock left as tribute
in the hind of yon
Now, mothers, hear my song —Horace / Tim Atkins