Posted By trish on August 15, 2011
• Paperback: 216 pages
• Publisher: Antrim House; First edition (May 1, 2010)
Who would have thought that Dante would return to hell, this time in the company of a middle-aged Jewish lawyer from Vermont? Seth Steinzor’s To Join the Lost revisits the route that Dante traveled through his Inferno, depicting the sights, sounds and scents of evil as they appear to a modern American. As with any great and ancient city, a lot has changed in Hell over the past seven hundred years. The travelers encounter horrors and escape new perils while dodging age-old invitations to self-destruction. Their adventures invite us to contemplate evil’s eternal and ever-changing nature.
Steinzor’s narrative is presented in language that is clear, lush, vivid, and propulsive. It is verse, but verse that recalls the days before there were novels, when poets were story-tellers and the stories by which our culture defined itself were told in poetry. Now the narrative verse form has become so unfamiliar to modern readers that we experience it as exciting and fresh. This is not the stuff they bored you with in high school. The nightmares that Dante and his companion walk through are the nightmares that we all have lived through, described with the power a poet’s words can pack. This book may trouble your sleep, but it will never induce it.
“It is sad that language difference, change of poetic forms, historical ignorance, and a secular reference frame have made Dante’s stupendous work all but unavailable to the casual, modern reader. It is also sad that we have no latter-day Inferno to display our many crimes and criminals, and to suggest the possibility of redemption – until now. Seth Steinzor’s chutzproject of transforming Dante does just that. Here we have a modern geography of transgression, a ranking of the ignoble, and most importantly, a contemporary poet’s take on the inglorious stew of our time.” Marc Estrin, author of Insect Dreams and When the Gods Come Home to Roost.
Seth Steinzor has been writing poetry nonstop since his teens. To Join the Lost is his first book. His web site is tojointhelost.com.
Seth’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, November 1st: The Whimsical Cottage
Thursday, November 3rd: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, November 3rd: Savvy Verse & Wit – review
Friday, November 4th: Savvy Verse & Wit – interview
Friday, November 4th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, November 7th: Necromancy Never Pays
Monday, November 7th: Books Like Breathing
Wednesday, November 9th: My Reader’s Block
Thursday, November 10th: Eclectic/Eccentric
Friday, November 11th: What She Read …
Monday, November 14th: The Babel Blog
Tuesday, November 15th: Poet Hound
Wednesday, November 16th: Regular Rumination
Monday, November 21st: ExUrbanis
Tuesday, November 22nd: Tony’s Book World
Tuesday, November 29th: The Indextrious Reader
Thursday, December 1st: Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms