November 19th, 2007

reading, activism, writing

Book # 45: Adam and Cain, by Michael Graves

"There will be violence...," predicts Adam.

Yes, indeed there will be. In Michael Graves vivid, seductive collection of poems Adam and Cain the archetypal tale of sibling rivalry is expanded with brooding skill.

Graves speaks for Father and Son in a post-paradise world that's filled with serpents and toil, envy and murder. Readers will feel the growing uneasiness of Adam and Eve as Cain reaches manhood filled with jealousy, anger, questions, and a massive inferiority complex.

After the murder, Cain is marked by god and thrown into exile. He is haunted by remorse, so much so that he envies Able in his peaceful grave.

Graves writes with imagination and feeling about the raw human emotions only mentioned in the bible. The book is a remarkable meditation on one of humankind's the most elemental stories.