Vega and other poems by Lawrence Durrell
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Poems in this volume previously appeared in: Lawrence Durrell, “The Red Limbo Lingo: A Poetry Notebook” (lim. ed.), Faber and Faber, 1971.
“The old men said: you might arrive at last
To pierce behind the mask, for evermore
Match passion and clarity – that hopeless task.”
“Vega and other poems” (1971) draws together into one volume a selection of Durrell’s recent work, including poems from a recently published limited-edition poetry book and his “Vega” series and satellite poems. The brightest star in the constellation Lyra, in that light, Durrell returns the question of poetry’s capacity for revealing truth to those figures, themes, and symbolic traces we can trace back to the beginning of the tradition itself. Kant and “Saph” (Sappho) are addressed outright, unconscious mythic orders are written into the natural world, and the simultaneous allure and “hopeless task” for insight at the edges of every poem endear his collection with a sense of authentic clarity of purpose––if clarity of passion escapes the poem as a rule, every time.