“Caligula Unbound” by Alan Reynolds

It’s my honour to introduce to you the book ” Caligula Unbound “, which is a remarkable new poetry book from the poet Alan Reynolds. After reading the excellent written story-telling-poems , and the striking comparison between this Roman emperor and the current state of affairs not only in American Politics , made me decide that this brilliant book by Alan needs a much bigger stage than my bookshelf. And, as you will read, I am not the only one , several readers are also enthusiastic about the book. A thank you goes to Alan who permitted me to use his introduction text and the opening poem, all rights remain to Alan Reynolds.

Prologue

Long long ago when times were unenlightened
a madman gained much power. Don’t ask how.
His twitches soon had his own Cabinet frightened.
He cajoled, barked, and bullied trying to cow
those doubting that his dubious advent brightened
their troubled world. Oh, were things better now!
The scrolls note that obstruction was his game
and tell us that Caligula was his name.

Poem courtesy and copyright © Alan Reynolds

About the book:

Caligula Unbound is a short, cautionary story highlighting the troubling resemblances between the notorious Roman emperor Caligula and current American politics. Written predominately as a 325-line poem in ottava rima, it tells the story of a ruler unchained and dangerously free from restraining, sane, and ethical influences and considerations. Caligula Unbound is unique in using interesting accessible story-telling poetry to contrast current political excesses and aberrations, and their language, in the classical history of a mad Roman Emperor. The intended readership of Caligula Unbound is all people concerned with the way democratic governments are being suborned by oligarchs in general and by mad emperors in particular.

Alan Reynolds’s motivation:

The beginning of these present baleful times struck me with their resemblances to the world of the mad emperor Caligula. I began to retell his story using the phrasing of current news articles. Having read and written poetry for years and believing in its power to say much succinctly, I wrote the story in verse. Parallels to the modern ruling corruption threw themselves into the mix. Soon I had not a short poem but a story, and a title: Caligula Unbound. Caligula Unbound’s implicit viewpoint it is that we live in times dangerous for democracy and we need to be alert and act against usurpations of power.

About the Author :

Alan Reynolds ( a Duke University graduate) is a poet born and raised in North Carolina and is now after a sojourn in England a long-time resident of the Netherlands. He has written more than 4,000 poems, many published in US and UK literary magazines, on CD, and in books.
Many more of Alan’s poems have been posted, read and discussed on social networks and poetry forums where the comments and interchange of ideas keeps him writing. He delights in the pleasure of poetry’s wordplay, sounds, sense, nonsense and rhythms and says: ‘Writing poetry helps me see if not the reality of the world at least my own perceptions of it.’

Some reviews by readers:

Gardening Expert and Historian: What an amazing undertaking! Worthy of a Master’s degree in English, Political Science or History! All the inferences to our current president – gold, media, joke, grownup children, sane – just to name a very few. If there weren’t so many parallels between Caligula’s life & reign & our current leader, it would seem fanciful – but it’s frightening. The amount of time, research, effort & sheer brilliance you put into this is astonishing.

Scholar of ancient languages and linguistics: A tour-de-force, biographically accurate and astutely parallel to certain leaders of today in its final prognosis. As a whole it has the odd surreal echo of “1066 and all that”.

Documentary Film Maker: I find it a fascinating beautifully written story, beautiful atmosphere and style called up by a special word choice and language control that is Alan’s signature writing, and where there is room for daring, naughty side paths and nice interim pieces in the form of ‘headlines’.

If you are interested to obtain the book “Caligula Unbound” in its print version or as an ebook, or would like to give it a stage on your own blog please contact Alan Reynolds at alanreynolds@gmail.com.

You can also read “Caligula Unbound” online at https://birdcreekblues.com/2018/04/20/caligula-unbound/

Thank you kindly for reading!

19 thoughts on ““Caligula Unbound” by Alan Reynolds

  1. About a week ago, I was emailing with a friend back in California about the similarities between Caligula and a certain politician… He won’t like the ending.

    1. Thank you, Lea, for your much appreciated comment on Alan’s book.
      History has a tendency to repeat itself, and if so a certain politician will not like the ending indeed. Please feel free to read the book online at the link provided and if you would like to share the link with your friend in CA feel free to do so. https://birdcreekblues.com/2018/04/20/caligula-unbound/

      It’s wonderful to see you are still around in blogger land. Have a great day.
      Francina

    2. I will check out the link. In the meantime, I’ve scheduled a reblog of the post to possibly help get word of the book out there. It will be posted on Sunday.

    3. Super, thank you kindly for your generous gesture, Lea. It is very much appreciated by me and I am sure that Alan will be happy to learn the word of his book is spreading. Thank you once again 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Poetry on a canapé and commented:

    Thank you, Francina, for this thoughtful and timely introduction to the poet, Sire Alan Reynolds. The work speaks for itself, so any added elaborative wordy confirmation of worthiness, for said sire’s creation, would be redundant. The prologue alone, demands that the book “Caligula Unbound” be read, for is most inspiring and encouragingly consoling, as a reminder that the gods of the time of Caligula, allowed him but 4 years, from AD 37 to 41 to impose his evil ravages.
    With a smidgen of luck the decedents of said gods, hopefully still about, may take sufficient umbrage as to deal in a like manner with our present-day Gaius Julius Caesar Trump Asinine Americanus, from whom we of the world are in dire need of relief.

    Bravo to the perceptive Alan Reynolds, and to you Francina for spreading his brilliant contribution!

  3. Thank you, Francina, for this thoughtful and timely introduction to the poet, Sire Alan Reynolds. The work speaks for itself, so any added elaborative wordy confirmation of worthiness, for said sire’s creation, would be redundant. The prologue alone, demands that the book “Caligula Unbound” be read, for is most inspiring and encouragingly consoling, as a reminder that the gods of the time of Caligula, allowed him but 4 years, from AD 37 to 41 to impose his evil ravages.
    With a smidgen of luck the decedents of said gods, hopefully still about, may take sufficient umbrage as to deal in a like manner with our present-day Gaius Julius Caesar Trump Asinine Americanus, from whom we of the world are in dire need of relief.

    Bravo to the perceptive Alan Reynolds, and to you Francina for spreading his brilliant contribution!

    JJF

    1. Thank you kindly, Jean-Jacques, for your thoughtful and insight comment on Alan’s book. You are most welcome, it was my pleasure to share Alan’s work.
      I agree with you that the work speaks for itself.
      The moment I received my printed copy I was hooked.

      If you would like to read the online version of the book , please go over to Alan’s site by using the link provided: https://birdcreekblues.com/2018/04/20/caligula-unbound/

      Thank you once again!
      Francina

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