Author(s): John Davidson
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"These poems make a marvellous read: singly, a few at a time, or in one read-through. Of all the writers on things Wagnerian, poets have tended the most towards flowery, reverent adulation. But not John Davidson. His poems - impressions and soliloquies as much as poems - are honest, witty, and very contemporary. Yet all through the collection, a leitmotif of hommage can be heard. In the end, Wagner (and the poet) stand revealed through a uniquely satisfying music of words." ~ Heath Lees "Richard Wagner referred to himself repeatedly as a poet rather than as a composer and would surely have been delighted to find himself the subject of a volume of poetry. John Davidson's poems evince a deep love and knowledge of Wagner and his works: avoiding both hagiography and sentimentality, he makes us think about the subject in new ways - the mark of a true poet. This volume will doubtless appeal to committed Wagnerians but deserves to find an audience beyond them too." ~ Barry Millington
John Davidson was born in Lower Hutt and lives in Wellington, having retired as Professor of Classics at Victoria University of Wellington in 2010. He has published extensively on ancient Greek literature and mythology and the Reception of the Classics in New Zealand poetry. He is co-author of The Snake-Haired Muse: James K. Baxter and Classical Myth (2011). This is his fourth collection of poetry, after Presence in Absence (2013), Snapshots of Berlin (with Matthias Seidenstucker, 2014) and Soundings of Hellas (2015). He has been a dedicated Wagnerian for many years.