A Short History of the Island of Butterflies

Nicholas Christopher, Author
Nicholas Christopher, Author Puffin Books $12.5 (9p) ISBN 978-0-14-058554-4
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
While Christopher's second lyric collection is as bright and scintillating as his 1982 On Tour with Rita, he relies less on cleverness and more on skill in imagemaking for its effects. Christopher has a marked taste for the exotic, whether Paros, Verona, Albania or the imaginary island of the title. Even the Middle American prairie land of ""Sunday, Looking Westward'' takes on a strange light and coloration under his scrutiny, just as his ``Public Gardens'' has a Rousseau-ian aspect. At home in his native Manhattan, ``I could be in Atlantis, plunging to sea-bottom/ atop a mass of towers and rubble . . . Or what I think I see already may have disappeared,/ transposedlike Rome's powerto Byzantium. . . . '' He cast himself in the role of the traveler who must ``pay close attention/ to the intricate landscapes unfolding/ beyond the eye.'' The poetry is lush and adventurous. Christopher is both original and gifted. U.K. rights: Viking Penguin; translation rights: Melanie Jackson. January
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