November 27, 2009

Oxford and Cambridge Club

In the KIng Edward VII Room, Patrick gave a poetry reading in London from his new book of poetry, CLOUD SHADOWS OF OLYMPUS (published in late December 2009).


Patrick has had poems published in such venues as YOUNG AMERICAN POETS (1978), POET LORE (1978), CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER of Britain (1990-91, 2009) and CLASSICAL OUTLOOK (1991), among others. He is also translating Greek poets such as Sappho. He won 5TH Prize in YOUNG AMERICAN POETS (1978) for his poem "Ecce Homo". The Classical World and antiquity in general inspire a considerable portion of his poetic subject matter, such as in his poetry collections AREPO THE SOWER (1982) and WINGS OVER HELLAS (1990). Frequent travels in Greece and Italy framed the experiences about which he often writes and his next anthology will include poems from annual time spent in Sicily. Patrick has also illustrated his prior book of poems, HOUSE OF THE MUSE: Poems from the British Museum, published in the summer of 2005. In 2008 Patrick had a poem, "Kithairon" republished in the PENGUIN BOOK OF CLASSICAL MYTHS (see below). His most recent book of poetry, a collection of poems from 2006-2009, CLOUD SHADOWS OF OLYMPUS was published in 2009. In 2009-2010 poems of Patrick have been published, including "Delphi" in AKOUÉ of the American School of Classical Studies, "Pomona's Season" by the Classical Association of U.K. (Britain); "Iphigenia" in AMPHORA (American Philological Association); "Pindar's Final Ode" in MODERN AGE: A QUARTERLY REVIEW, and "Ode to Pheidippides" in AETHLON, among others.

He has also adapted an unusual literary form - the palindrome poem - especially for myth. While the French poet Apollinaire wrote shaped poems, the palindromic structure of a poetic literary unit whose words read forward and backward is an ideal medium for the cyclical subject matter of myth. A few of Patrick's palindrome poems - "Icarus" and "Labyrinth" - were previously published courtesy of Martin Gardner, the former columnist of "Mathematical Games" in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, in a journal called WORD WAYS in 1981. Several of these new palindromic poems, written for and shared at the Sun Valley Writers Conference 2005, are also offered here alongside some of Patrick's previous ones. A book of Patrick's palindrome poems is also to be published soon.

'Byron's Laurel Wreath' & 'Delphi' poem publication
(300 KB pdf dowload)

"Re-Grafting Apollo’s Laurel Bough: Byroniana at the Gennadeion and Revival of Tradition"

We may sometimes reflect on old traditions surrounding laurels beyond Delphi, where Apollo himself was wreathed in ancient art on vases and coins, along with his Pythian Oracle and priests and where Pythian games victors were wreathed. Elsewhere Apollo’s temples may have also been often graced by laurel groves in mythic honor of the nymph Daphne. In humility we may even attempt to revive laureate traditions.

Read more in the .pdf download (300 KB)

Featured Palindrome Poems and

"Myth's Deeper Truths"

Sun Valley Writers Conference, 2005
25 slides



Patrick's 1990 poem "Kithairon" was republished in Jenny March's PENGUIN BOOK OF CLASSICAL MYTHS (2008).



Pruning wild limbs on Mt. Kithairon
is no impediment to a vine god,
dismemberment to him is temporary
like the faith of mortals.
Here on this ivy mountain
some see his beard in the clouds
or his thigh knotted in a root.
But in the eyes of Pentheus
pruning was in troubled wood,
powerless to take root again
since his sad mother has both
knit and unknit the cloth of him.
Is it wind we hear howling on Kithairon?

Patrick Hunt



Patrick's poem" Pindar's Final Ode" was published in MODERN AGE: A QUARTERLY REVIEW in March, 2010:


Pindar would breathe sweet almond blossoms
one more time through his window,
see silver olive leaves wreathe a moon
for his final ode that night when Hermes came
silently, only a dawn wind whispered
setting star names in his ear. Hermes' staff, pointed
with its mating snakes full of earth magic downward,
touched ground and split it open like a fig
or pomegranate when it falls ripe and full.
Pindar could not lift his old head
when Hermes called but his soul obeyed.
One last glance at Argos deep in shadow
and pines southward on distant blue Taygetos
until Pindar followed Hermes' dancing foot
in his soul's own slow cadenza, his outward eye
closing but his inward eye awakening to asphodels
blooming bright at the gate of Elysium.

Patrick Hunt


Patrick's poem "Iphigenia" was published in spring 2010 in the
American Philological Association's AMPHORA:


Let the wind's breath die first, others will follow.
Calchas trembles reading stars mirrored on livers,
comets fallen like spears, eclipsed moons
returning with a vengeance. Hordes wait
in the doldrums at Aulis in restless armor
but when they begin to leave, unraveling the borders
of his dream sails, a vain king loses more
than any false courage their numbers brought him.
Agamemnon has not chosen well so far,
will he sacrifice his pride on this altar,
give up his ships and the praise of men
or further dilute his faint father love?
Whichever is saltier, seawater or blood?
Deaf and blind to Iphigenia's tears,
he will not hear her doe-like cries softening,
he will not even hear either sound or fury
in this new wind slicing like a sword edge.

Patrick Hunt


Poetry in the Song of Songs 2008

Patrick Hunt has written a literary analysis of the Classical Hebrew poetry in the biblical SONG OF SONGS - known in Hebrew as SHIR HA-SHIRIM. Major figurative language devices in this Hebrew poetry are annotated and examined (e.g., simile, metaphor, paronomasia, euphemism, chiasmus, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, etc.) and often compared to Classical literature in applying the traditions of Aristotle and Quintilian, among others.

Now available at Amazon.com

Patrick has also emphasized several obscure literary devices in Classical Hebrew not often published elsewhere in prior literature (note Patrick's previous publications with Peter Lang Verlag in Frankfurt, BEATAJ - Beiträge zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des Antiken Judentums - Bands 20 & 28). These obscure literary devices are 'concealed paronomasia' and 'multiple sensory clusters'. Ancient literary criticism does not appear to have known Hebrew names for them. This new book on the dense, subtle and likely erotic Hebrew poetry of the SONG OF SONGS suggests parallels to much of the world's most beautiful poetry both before and after and offers compelling reasons why this biblical poetry is so rich.

Peter Lang AG Publishing Peter Lang Verlag -Vienna, Oxford, Frankfurt, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York,
New book by Patrick Hunt, 2008

Available at Amazon.com

In REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (July 2009) by Prof. Stefan Fischer, University of Vienna:

"...[Hunt] makes a significant contribution with his studies on subtle wordplay and clusters of sensory images...an extensive study useful for those who are interested in literary figures and creative allusions of extrabiblical texts...The strength of the book is the great knowledge of the author drawing on many sources, especially classical ones, pointing to many allusions..."


  Patrick Hunt’s fifth collection of poetry - in this case a hundred poems - follows his antiquarian and eclectic interests ...

Available in 2014 onward

Buy this book soon at Corinthian / Pirene Press or Stanford Bookstore or at Amazon.com

  A collection of 264 original aphorisms and fabulae (parables), inspired by Voltaire, Nietzsche and Kafka ...

Available in 2013 onward
ISBN: 978-0-578-13533-5

Buy this book at Corinthian / Pirene Press or Stanford Bookstore or at Amazon.com

  ... Lyrical poetry with Classical and mythological themes,...

Available in 2009 onward

Patrick's new book of Classical poetry CLOUD SHADOWS OF OLYMPUS is a collection of his poems from 2006-2009.

  ... Some ancient myths are so moving that every generation revisits them in new ways ...

Available in 2005 onward

Patrick's 2005 book of poetry HOUSE OF THE MUSE was nominated in 2005-06 for an Academy of American Poets prize by the publisher
(Ariel Books).

poetry_slideshowRead six poems excerpted from HOUSE OF THE MUSE

View Example Illustrations from 'House of the Muse'

Patrick Hunt has given many poetry readings over the years, among others in San Francisco (e.g., New College), in Berkeley (e.g., Pegasus Books), at Stanford University, in London (including at the Institute of Classical Studies and the Oxford - Cambridge Club), in Sicily (several private palazzi in Palermo and Siracusa) and Rome and Venice as well as other venues.

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