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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also read “Caligula Unbound” online at https://birdcreekblues.com/2018/04/20/caligula-unbound/
Thank you kindly for reading!