January 13, 2014  |  104 pages
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Mythmaking is the first art. Written with a unity of vision largely forgotten by contemporary poetry, G.M. Palmer’s With Rough Gods grazes the foundations of Greek mythology, endowing gods and legends with a numinous humanity often unseen in traditional compilations of lore. Complete with a glossary of its characters, With Rough Gods embodies our human experience as only mythology can.

“G.M. Palmer uses authentic and striking language to summon ancient Hellenic gods and heroes, achieving nothing less than an astonishing reanimation of their passions, jealousies, and wars. Palmer's poems, hard and elegant, are ideally suited to his task. This is a splendid debut by a poet of considerable promise.” — Ernest Hilbert, author of Sixty Sonnets and Aim Your Arrows At The Sun

“Inscribed over the doorway of Carl Jung’s house was the ancient Spartan proverb Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit: Bidden or unbidden, God is present. This is undeniable. But it’s not just god. It’s all the gods. They live through our acts, our deeds, our lusts and levities, our disasters of the heart, our sorceries, our redeeming values, our insufferable vanities. The gods are we. We are the gods. And like a maxim chisled on a lintel, the poems in G.M. Palmer’s book force us into the bluntest of human truths: we are no prettier than our ugliest self, nor any more virtuous than our most wicked of intentions. “Everything has been done / and will be done again,” he writes. We didn’t invent the gods. They invented us.” — Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of The Devastation and Harlot

“In a further cross-pollination of the traditional and the modern, Palmer works a twist on the sonnet sequence: his poems’ three-beat lines and plainspoken diction render them both lithe and richly musical. In With Rough Gods, not only are the ancient dramas kept very much alive; they are also made young again.” — David Yezzi, Executive Editor of The New Criterion and author of Azores
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