Not Very Far, But Not Close Either
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In “Not Very Far, But Not Close Either”, formal lyrics, free verse poems, and translations from the first century Latin of Martial and Horace explore ideas of distance: the physical distance between bodies, the psychological distance between (and within) human minds, the temporal distance between past, present, and future. A speaker considers his relationship to the image in a foggy bathroom mirror, another to the bird living behind his house, another to the ghosts of his dead parents, whom he asks to watch over a beloved and recently departed child. In exploring these distances—between self and semblance, man and bird, living and dead—the speakers of these poems attempt to locate themselves the only way we can ever locate anything: in relation to something—or someone—else. In this spirit, the manuscript incorporates not only translations and original poems, but poems adapted from and taken after the work of poets who have explored similar themes, questions, and concerns.