A contemporary requiem—an earthy yet elegant reconsideration of the Tristan and Iseult story, from the former poet laureate of Brooklyn.
In Dennis Nurske's wood of Morois, the Forest of Love, there's a fine line between the real and the imaginary, the archaic and the actual, poetry and news. The poems feature the voices of the lovers and all parties around them, including the servant Brangien; Tristan's horse, Beau Joueur; even the living spring that flows through the tale ("in my breathing shadow / the lovers hear their voices / confused with mine / promising a slate roof, / a gate, a child . . . "). Nurkse brings us an Iseult who has more power than she wants over Tristan's imagination, and a Tristan who understands his fate early on: "That charm was so strong, no luck could free us." For these lovers, time closes like a book, but it remains open for us as we hear both new tones and familiar voices, eerily like our own, in this age-old story made new again.