The Promised Folly
Judith Hall Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3558.A3695P76 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
If, as Oscar Wilde said, "nothing ages like happiness," then nothing rejuvenates like a pursuit. That is certainly the American way, and in The Promised Folly, Judith Hall takes a fresh look at our American pursuits and supreme fictions. She explores the folly that follows mere existence and gives it back to her readers in different voices-Venus, Walt Whitman, Julius Caesar, Ma Rainey voices that contain multitudes. Whitman will become Falstaff, for example, and Venus becomes Mars. Absurdities and incongruities such as these constitute for Hall opportunities for lyric pleasure. The resulting poems are puckish, sumptuous, and austere, by turns, and not incidentally compassionate.
Three Trios: Poems
J II Northwestern University Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3558.A3695T49 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Three Trios brings together, for the first time, translations of two ancient texts. The Apocryphal Book of Judith may be the more familiar one--the tale of a widow as warrior-savior. Less familiar may be the possibility that hidden within this narrative is another older sequence, a pagan one. The ritual that initiated a woman into the Dionysian also licensed her to leave her community. That ceremony, for all the running and blood-letting, helped the cultivated woman cultivate her individuation out of a morass of femininity. The "Mysteries" were widely practiced, and yet to preserve their secrecy, any documentary evidence was surely hidden, coded, or bowdlerized. It is possible that the Book of Judith was such a disguised book of common pagan prayer. Three Trios is composed out of this audacious possibility.