Brahms at Lincoln Center « PREV | NEXT »: Two Interpretations

October 24, 2012

David Ferry

Tuesday night, under the auspices of Hunter College's Distinguished Writers Series, the 88-year-old poet David Ferry read from his new book, Bewilderment. I was proud that two of the great poems he read--"Everybody's Tree" and "Street Scene"--came from the pages of The Threepenny Review. But pride was the least of my feelings.  Ferry is one of those writers who manage to address the dark, painful aspects of existence without any wailing or hair-tearing, but also without any false consolation. The largely young audience, many of them from the Hunter MFA program, loved Ferry's work for its powerful voice and its technical mastery ("You're the man!" they kept saying to him at the book-signing afterward), but those of us who were older saw in it something more profoundly melancholy, and perhaps even a bit terrifying. When Ferry read from his Virgil translation--giving us part of the Latin poet's account of the story of Orpheus and Euridice--the verse was so personal, so moving, and so direct that Ferry almost seemed to be describing his own life. Which, in a way, he was.
October 24, 2012 5:40 AM | | Comments (0)

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