MODERN LOVE: SONGS
Recitative is speaking. Song is repeating.
With this enigmatic declaration, Thomas Meyer begins Modern Love: Songs, rewriting Dante’s Vita Nuova for a new age. “Song,” declares the poet, “go find Love / and have him take you / to my love and sing / my praises.” In these songs, Meyer manifests anew his protean masteries in a series of sonnets and prose ruminations that attest to the powers of new love in later life. “Something woke up deep inside me,” telling the poet, “Watch, wait, when / I arrive I will look like Spring.”
“Recalling Dante’s La Vita Nuova, Thomas Meyer’s remarkable prosimetrum makes of a lover’s anxious pain, uncertainty, and ardent desire a theater whose proscenium is a discourse about poetics, a theater upon whose stage the lover helplessly measures out song after song. Like Dante before him, Meyer masterfully works the “language so that it moves out of speech and out of prose into another realm.” In this other realm, lovers have been singing for centuries, and time folds in upon itself queerly. Modern Love convinces us that this sempiternal realm – the visionary – can still be accessed through “The cross/purposes of words pressed/into song,” and that Thomas Meyer is the man to take us there.”