Ursa Major: A Polyphonic Masque for Speakers & Dancers

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9781554470600: Ursa Major: A Polyphonic Masque for Speakers & Dancers

A new-edition reprint of Robert Bringhurst’s polyphonic masque. Shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2004, the National Post calls Ursa Major “a typically majestic and dedicated piece of work.”

Described by the author as “a poem that marries Cree, Roman and Greek traditions in a form that is a cross between a five-act play and a string quartet,” Ursa Major sounds out variations on the story of the great bear constellation in four languages, using parallel voices to enhance the fascinating discovery of a central myth in multiple cultures.

Ursa Major was first performed by the Regina dance company New Dance Horizons in 2002. This volume attempts to express that performance on the page, with a reading version and a multi-coloured “Voice Map” representing the poem’s polyphonic characteristics typographically. The cover and title page feature a wood engraving by Wesley Bates.

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About the Author:

Robert Bringhurst is a poet, typographer and linguist, well known for his award-winning translations of the Haida storytellers Skaay and Ghandl, and for his translations of the early Greek philosopher-poet Parmenides. His manual The Elements of Typographic Style has itself been translated into ten languages and is now one of the world’s most influential texts on typographic design. Among his most recent publications is a pair of essay collections, The Tree of Meaning (GP, 2006) and Everywhere Being is Dancing (GP, 2007). Bringhurst lives on Quadra Island, off the British Columbia coast.

Review:

“This performance work part original translations, part original poetry merges Greek, Latin, Cree and English, literally, cascading and colliding together, voices and languages in a deft orchestration of polyphony.” George Elliott Clarke, Halifax Chronicle Herald

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Bringhurst, Robert
Published by Gaspereau
ISBN 10: 1554470609 ISBN 13: 9781554470600
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