In his Rider trilogy, Mark Rudman perfected a mixed genre form -- combining dialogue, lyric and prose. While employing some of the same techniques that have become "signature Rudman" -- the compact, colloquial line, dazzling shifts from popular culture to classical history -- The Couple also breaks new ground. This new book is a collection of discrete poems organized around four poem sequences, "Long-Stemmed Rose," "The Shallowness of the Lake," "Perseus Surprised, Andromeda Unbound," and "Fragile Craft." As the title suggests, the theme of relationships, both dark and erotically-charged, emerges here as Rudman's focus. The couples in the book include parents, lovers, a young boy and girl in elementary school, Perseus and Andromeda, Mary Ure and Robert Shaw, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

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