By Amy Gerstler
Hallucinogenic crops chant in refrain. A considerate puppy can provide an interview. A caterpillar bargains existence recommendation. Amy Gerstler's most modern selection of poetry, Dearest creature marries truth and fiction in a menagerie of dramatic monologues, twisted love poems, and epistolary pleadings. Drawing on resources as disparate as Lewis Carroll and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, in addition to irregular psychology, etiquette, and archaeology texts, those darkly imaginitive poems probe what it skill to be a sentient, transitority, flesh-and-blood beast, to be hopelessly, vividly creaturely.
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Extra resources for Dearest Creature
96), are sung as a kleftic song in Epiros, a 'table song' in Karpathos, where it is sung by men only, unaccompanied, after the psalms with which a wedding feast traditionally begins, and as a lullaby in Thrace (Thrakika 11, 1939, p. 205). In these cases it is impossible to tell whether this diversity of apparent function for versions closely enough related to be regarded as 'the same song* is a recent phenomenon. In the case of 'Mikrokostantinos' and its association with the Anastenaria, it almost certainly has a long history, and it is especially significant to note how little divergence there is between versions from the Anastenaria and others from quite remote areas, despite what must be a long-standing difference in function.
The theme of the meeting is a simple inversion of that found in 'Mikrokostantinos'. ) (14) Pontos, 1946. Exile, death and parting are weighed in the balance and exile is found to be the most grievous. Curses on you, exile; if one becomes an exile one is lost. The story begins, and the narrative is in the first person. The hero went abroad an orphan and stayed there in a foreign family who finally reject him. So he returns home and meets his mother, all in black, at the crossroads. He declares his identity, they embrace and go home together.
He bends down to kiss the keyhole and prostrates himself before the door, begging the girl to open it. She asks who he is and he replies that it was he who sent her a number of gifts. She doesn't accept this as proof that he knows her and asks for signs about the house and her body. Finally convinced she allows him in to sleep with her (Laografia 1, 1909, p. 615). (12d) Cyprus, 1868. Yannis, three days married, goes on a journey which is supposed to last thirty days. He is gone for thirty years, however, during which time his armour rusts, his house is shuttered and barred, and his wife is to be remarried.