The title poem, for Anthony Hecht 'a truly great success in its knitting together of the modern scene, recent history, and Homeric myth', finds a wizened Penelope hawking embroidery to tourists. Another recalls the death of Marilyn Monroe - how it awakened the sexual consciousness of a boy for whom her spirit became the scent of cured tobacco. An odyssey whose settings range from the Carolinas to Crete, from the Romsdal Fjord to the Buffalo River. "Penelope's Design" also pays homage to such geniuses of place as Thomas Hardy and A. E. Housman, in whose Shropshire a 50-year-old literary pilgrim meets his own lightfoot ghost. Often elegiac, these richly allusive poems smile at the diminishing returns of aging and capture glimmers of a numinous Otherwhere.
DAVID HAVIRD grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and studied at the university there under James Dickey. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Virginia with a doctoral dissertation on Thomas Hardy. Not a prolific poet, still he has published for many years in major journals: Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, the Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, the Yale Review--not to mention the Texas Review--and online at Poetry Daily. He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he teaches at Centenary College.