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Errant by Gabriel Levin

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Errant, Gabriel Levin’s sixth collection, opens and ends with invocations: of Venus at dawn and Hesperus at dusk. The book’s day takes us on a three-part planetary journey. ‘What Drew Me On’ is inspired by Tamara Rikman’s free-floating works on paper and by Plato’s image of the music of the spheres. Ghostly presences are evoked in several poetic forms, including terza rima for the poet’s take on image-making down the ages. ‘First came sooty beings shinnying up walls.’ 

There are elegies to the cineastes Abbas Kiarostami and Chantal Akerman, as well as translations from Greek and (in villanelle form) from the Medieval Hebrew of Avraham Ibn Ezra. There are aubades, lyrics, and a sequence arranged in short-lined triads of psychic retreat in Jerusalem. The wanderer picks up where he left off in earlier books, striking out from home, conjuring Sa’adi’s Gulistan or Nasir-i Khursaw in Cairo; pocketing bits of obsidian on the island of Melos, paying homage to Yannis Ritsos in Crete.

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