Jim Reid, Prairie Fire, 2013

Jim Reid, Prairie Fire, 2013: “Former Canadian diplomat Peter Dale Scott received the Lannan Poetry Award in 2002, following publication of the final book of Seculum. This trilogy comprised Coming to Jakarta: a poem about terror (1988), Listening to the Candle: a poem on impulse (1992), and Minding the Darkness: a poem for the year 2000 (2000). Mosaic Orpheus followed in 2009. John Peck, a poet with similarly wide-ranging contemporary concerns, reviewed Orpheus astutely in “Seeing Things as They Are,” published in the Notre Dame Review, where he boldly described Seculum “one of the essential long poems of the past half century.” How many other essential long poems have been published since 1960? Ezra Pound’s Late Cantos? Peck’s review appears at: http://ndreview.nd.edu/assets/35286/peck_review. Initially, I thought that Tilting Point placed the concerns of Scott’s earlier work in the elegiac light of a summa poetica. Was Tilting Point the beginning of an extended look back in more poetry yet to come? But Scott has just posted “Greek Theater: How Mario Savio Changed My Life,” a poem in 46 tercets at a new website at http://www.comingtojakarta.net/2013/02/28/greek-theater-a-poem/. I was mistaken to speak of the light elegiac. “Greek Theater” has all the power, equanimity, and commitment of Scott’s best work in Seculum..” ~ ~