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The Hand that Rounded Peter's Dome, Poems by George Drew
The Hand that Rounded Peter’s Dome, George Drew’s sequence of poems narrating the life of Michelangelo, is a chorus of voices, a collage of visions, of the artist and his times.
“The poems in this series are poems of a brave master poet. They take on the under-life or other-life or associative-life of the magnificent Michaelangelo in poems which emerge as shapely arguments for whatever his hands or his imagination touched, indeed whatever his life touched. Knowing that readers will come to the collection with some knowledge of the great genius, George Drew has given us what every biography could profit from: commentarial biography in deeply realized poems which are to biography what Midrashim are to sacred texts. As such these poems give us a more complete biography than anything we have ever read before.” —Darrell Bourque
"George Drew chisels Michelangelo from the ideas and edifices of his time as surely as The Master himself chiseled life from stone--chipping away at the pettiness, dust, and detritus to set free both the sacred and the profane. From this collection of poems emerges an intense ideological debate that roiled the Medici court and The Vatican itself at the height of The Renaissance—a debate that still rages in the arts and in religion today. Is the greatest grandeur of Man in his proximity to an idealized God or in the sacred profanity of his flesh, muscle, and intellectual toil?”—Jared Smith
"Both Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost have suggested that the truth is best told slant, and this is the tack that George Drew has taken in his marvelous study of Michelangelo, The Hand That Rounded Peter’s Dome. Rather than allow Michelangelo to make his own case, Drew has chosen to present the great master though the eyes of others—contemporaries, fictionalized characters, and Michelanglo’s own sculptures. The result is a captivating—and brilliant—portrait of one of the great visual artists of the Western world. Though we may not always sympathize with Buonnaroti, perhaps like Leonardo believing that ‘God’s glory is resplendent more in little things,’ we come to appreciate the truly human part of an artist whose creations make him closer to the gods.”—Allen Hoey
"In The Hand that Rounded Peter’s Dome, George Drew provides us with a stunning portrait of Michelangelo—a composite really, often contradictory, often uncomplimentary, from the people who knew him, respected him, envied him, used him and, more than likely, hated his guts. Moreover, Drew has a few invented characters and even some of the artists’ work do the talking as well. History? Sometimes. Poetry? Always. And a poetry that’s clean, contemporary, memorable and of the first order. Not since Ezra Pound found modern sensibility in Renaissance heroes do we get a view of a Renaissance superstar as he might exist today, warts and all: a man who was ‘unlearned, insensitive of speech, inquisitive of nothing,’ and yet a man who had attained the ‘heights’ of human endeavor.”—John Surowiecki
George Drew was born in Mississippi and raised there and in New York State, where he currently lives. Toads in a Poisoned Tank, his first book, was published in 1986, and a chapbook, So Many Bones (Poems of Russia), in 1997 by a Russian press, in a bilingual edition. A second collection, The Horse’s Name Was Physics, appeared in 2006 from Word Tech Communications, under their Turning Point imprint, and another collection, The Hand that Rounded Peter’s Dome, will appear under the same imprint in October, 2010. In 2009 a third collection, American Cool, appeared from Tamarack Editions. Drew has published widely, with poems appearing recently or upcoming in journals around the country. His work also has been anthologized, most recently in The Southern Poetry Anthology, II: Mississippi (Texas Review Press, 2010). Drew has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, most recently in 2010, and is the winner of several awards, such as the Paumanok Poetry Award, the Baltimore Review Poetry Prize, and the South Carolina Review Poetry Prize, and he was runner-up for the Chautauqua Literary Journal Poetry Contest. American Cool won the 2010 Adirondack Literary Award for best poetry book of 2009.
ISBN 978-1936370122, 98 pages, $18.00