The Antigone Poems (2014)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)

Books and Magazines in brief:

Marie Slaight. The Antigone Poems. Drawings by Terrence Tasker. ISBN 978-0-9806447-0-8. Potts Point NSW: Altaire Production and Publication, 2013.

Marie Slaight & Terrence Tasker: The Antigone Poems (2013)

This is a very interesting, very strange collection of poems and charcoal drawings created in the 1970s in Canada by writer Mary Slaight and artist Terrence Tasker. It has been described by Grace Cavalieri as a “holy book – written in ecstasy and the madness of genius” and there is a certain air of the sacramental about it. Antigone, subject of Sophocles’ eponymous drama, has always been a protean figure within western culture. George Steiner wrote an entire book about the various ways in which she’s been re-envisaged down the centuries, culminating (I suppose) in Jean Anouilh’s play about the French Resistance, performed under the noses of the Gestapo in wartime Paris. What does she mean to Marie Slaight? A desire to “live all lives, all deaths, encompass all women” [p. lxxxix]? One can’t help feeling that a very personal version of the Freudian family drama is being played out here, behind these pared-down lines of poetry.


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 236.

[175 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 (2014)

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