Covering a variety of subjects from the plague and the first danse macabre to the development of perspective and recipes for pigments the poems in Cole Swensen’s new collection are set in fifteenth-century France and explore the end of the medieval world and its gradual transition into the Renaissance. The collection is loosely based on the calendar illuminations from the Trs Riches Heures, the well-known book of hours, and uses them to explore the ways that the arts visual and verbal interact with history, at times prefiguring it, at times shaping it, and at times offering wry commentary or commiseration.
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