Palladas; Tony Harrison

A collection of Greek poems.

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Poetica 5 ‘The Greek Anthology’, as Cyril Connolly wrote, ‘contains some great and some near-great poets, who would be quite unknown outside it, and who have still not received their due. Palladas, for example, who has touches of Swift and Juvenal, has never been properly put together’. Tony Harrison’s selection of poems by the fourth-century Alexandrian epigrammatist compellingly recreates the bitter wit which he describes as ‘the authentic snarl of a man trapped physically in poverty and persecution, and metaphysically in a deep sense of the futile’. As he writes in his preface, ‘Palladas…is generally regarded as the last poet of Paganism, and it is in this role that I have sought to present a consistent dramatic personality…His are the last hopeless blasts of the old Hellenistic world, giving way reluctantly, but without much resistance, before the cataclysm of Christianity.

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