Hold Your Own: Poems

Kae Tempest

Hold Your Own: Poems
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Hold Your Own: Poems

Kae Tempest

From playwright, novelist, spoken-word star, and the youngest-ever winner of the Ted Hughes Award, an electrifying poem-sequence based on the myth of the gender-switching prophet Tiresias. My heart throws its head against my ribs, / it’s denting every bone it’s venting something it has known since I arrived and felt it beat. Walking in the forest one morning, a young man disturbs two copulating snakes–and is punished by the goddess Hera, who turns him into a woman. So begins Hold Your Own, a riveting tale of youth and experience, wealth and poverty, sex and love, that draws ancient figures into a fiercely contemporary vision. Weaving elements of classical myth, autobiography and social commentary, Tempest uses the story of the blind, clairvoyant Tiresias to create four sequences of poems, addressing childhood, manhood, womanhood, and late life. The result is a rhythmically hypnotic tour de force–and a hugely ambitious leap forward for one of the most broadly talented and compelling young writers today.

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