An intensely personal invocation of the ancient Greek tragedy, The Antigone Poems was created in the 1970s while writer Marie Slaight and artist Terrence Tasker were living in Montreal and Toronto. A bold retelling of the ancient tale of defiance and justice, its poetry and images capture the anguish and despair of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition.
“Haunting. If one word describes Marie Slaight’s The Antigone Poems, this is it. The collection of poems, some only a fragment of a thought, others filling the page with a stream of consciousness narrative, tells the story of Antigone from the first person perspective of Antigone herself. Loosely based on the Greek myth of Antigone, who inevitably suffers as a rebel in her family, the poems are filled with anguish, emotional violence and suffering. However, Slaight comments near the end of her book that she wanted ‘to live all lives, all deaths, encompass all women.’ Thus the pain, anguish, and suffering in this book applies to more than just the doomed Antigone of Greek mythology; it applies to the collective suffering of all women. The tone of the poems is understandably dark considering the subject material, and the periodic charcoal drawings by Terrence Tasker only enhance the haunting nature of the story told by Slaight. Furthermore, the poems are delivered from a deeply personal and intimate viewpoint, so the reader is often tied directly to the emotions of the speaker. The often short form of each poem also helps add an intimate feeling as each poem seems to represent a separate thought about Antigone’s torment.” — San Francisco Book Review
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