The companion volume to the highly praised experimental epic poem Iovis: All is Full of Jove.
In this second tome, Iovis Book II, Anne Waldman pursues the duty she charged herself with at the close of her previous volume—“to blunt the knife.” Male war making and aggression, old stubborn patriarchal social forms, and the damages of industrial and military expansionism raise the poet into a rage of spiritual compassion. All require that she conjure powerful mythic assistance. She summons female eidolons for her work, reaching out to Sapphom H.D., the woman troubadour known as the Countess of Dia, the Gaelic Hag of Beare, and the Spider Woman of Native America. There are dirges for dead relatives and companions, and songs of healing as she watches over dear friends taken ill. All of Waldman’s themes come into focus—friendship, motherhood, politics, and Buddhist wisdom. And the planet’s charged landscapes appear—beyond North America looms tantric India, indigenous Mexico, old Europe dreamscapes and visions as the poet takes on in succession the roles of daughter, lover, mother, hag. This is epic poetry that goes beyond the old injunction “to include history”—its effort is to change history.
“Waldman has embarked on a fearless cultural intervention—the epic poem and genre-rich gesamtwerk, Iovis: All is Full of Jove. The first volume critically and lingeringly, with true curiosity, investigates the male principle in its many manifestations, from Puer to Warmonger. The second volume continues this bardic exploration by turning to the female and feminine materials of our culture. Waldman manifests an avid female intelligence in her poetry of human joy.” —Rachel Blau DePlessis