The Absolute, Relatively Inaccessible, Walter Wangerin
Walter Wangerin

The Absolute, Relatively Inaccessible

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The Absolute, Relatively Inaccessible is a volume of poems divided into three parts. The three parts are bound together by a brace of persistent and developing themes, as well as by the repetition (and the development) of language, metaphor, and imagery.
Part 1 presents various characters (mostly African American) confronting death.
The poems in part 2 are spoken by an unnamed narrator about his cancer. My cancer, actually, and my experiences.
Parts 2 and 3 both descend into silence.
Part 3 is a radical reworking of the ancient Mesopotamian epic loosely known as The Songs of Heaven and Hell. The poems are not a translation, though each derives from a separate song, and each uses the characters, the events, the worldview, and the stark imagery of Babylon in the third century BCE. In many respects, these poems have the prosody of the biblical psalms.
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32 printed pages
Original publication



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