Tales of the François Vase: A Poem and Radio Play
Tales of the François Vase: A Poem and Radio Play, by Julia Older
Julia Older’s obsession with the famous Francois Vase led to both the radio play and the book-length poem. The dramatic 25-century journey of the vase winds through a subterranean inferno of greed, passion, and terror.
Twice it was smashed into 600-plus pieces, came unglued, and was puzzled together, each time with a piece missing. A third time — during the 1966 Florence Flood — a scientist intentionally broke the vase. He restored it with the missing piece, and at last it was whole.
Older’s book offers readers the entire fascinating story.
The poem is illustrated with the vase figures from the Iliad and the book includes a “backstory” with Older’s original translations of her research.
“Before printed books there were talking vases. Julia Older found one Greek vase that talked and is still talking, in defiance of weather, war, and malevolence. Julia Older renders the voices that attended the François Vase from its birth in the potter’s hands to what its admirers and enemies said when they held, lost, hunted, or broke it. All these voices speak in rhythms the poet fancied or channeled, and they tell a picaresque and musical drama of that Western mind that flows from ancient Greece to X-rays. Once a talking vase, it’s now Julia’s singing vase. You can sing along.” —Andrei Codrescu, Writer and NPR Commentator
This is the third volume of the Hobblebush Granite State Poetry Series.
88 pp, Paperback; Includes CD of the radio play