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March 2016
88 pages  

6 x 9
9780822964049
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Eternity & Oranges
Bakken, Christopher
In Eternity & Oranges, the voices we encounter speak on the verge of disappearance, from places marked by disintegration and terror. Christopher Bakken's poems are acts of conjuring. They move from the real political landscapes of Greece, Italy, and Romania, into more surreal spaces where history comes alive and the summoned dead speak.

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Christopher Bakken is department chair and Frederick F. Seeley Professor of English at Allegheny College. He is the author of the poetry collections After Greece and Goat Funeral. He is also co-translator of The Lions’ Gate: Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios, and the author of Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table.
“The poems in Eternity & Oranges evoke myths, history, love and loss, ancient art, and more. Bakken’s words evoke haunting images of the sea, the sun, ancient figures, tales, and modern woes. The line between ancient and modern is erased, as he connects them in a way that only a poet can. Through Bakken’s words, we feel his love for his adopted country, where his soul certainly lives. As I read this work, I sense that being away from Greece, for him, is akin to torture. His heart beats in Greece — at the seashore, among the ghosts of ancient gods and heroes, breathing in the sea air, and this storied country, in all of its wonder.” —windycitygreek.com

"Though we may feel sometimes that we are drowning in our pain and our desire, Bakken reminds us that, without always understanding how, our mouths will come up to the surface."—American Microreviews

“This is a beautiful collection of poems: half-cryptic, half-open; half based on ancient myths, half on actual life. There’s almost always Greece as the backdrop, olives and the sea but also a human drama. Christopher Bakken proves that what’s ancient is also modern and vice versa. We live between times; only poetry can make it palpable.”—Adam Zagajewski

Eternity & Oranges is a beautifully crafted book of apprehensions, the apprehensions chiefly of death as furnished by sea, love, politics, and separation. It moves through Greece and the Balkans watching scenes darken and divide. The unsaid haunts the book with its degrees of saying. It is what the skin of poetry is for: to contain the flesh and nerves while bearing whatever life inflicts on it.”—George Szirtes

"It isn't merely history, or discrete moments, but language itself that feels inhabited rather than invoked in this collection. This sense of being invaded is the collection's greatest strength, and proof of an exciting development in Bakken's poetic practice." --Pleiades Book Review

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Pitt Poetry Series Table of Contents
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“We’d not slept in days, or else we were/ still sleeping—who could tell?” someone asks in the opening poem of Eternity & Oranges. The voices we encounter in this book speak on the verge of disappearance, from places marked by disintegration and terror. Christopher Bakken's poems are acts of conjuring. They move from the real political landscapes of Greece, Italy, and Romania, into more surreal spaces where history comes alive and the summoned dead speak. In the formally diverse long poem, “Kouros/Kore,” but also in this book’s terse and harrowing dream songs, Bakken writes with devastating force, at every turn “Guilty of the crime of praise” while “begging for an antidote to beauty.”
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