The Man Who Lived Among the Cannibals
Poems in the Voice of Herman Melville
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
The Man Who Lived Among the Cannibals is a sequence of thirty-seven persona poems written by Laurie Robertson-Lorant. Fusing fact and fiction, reality and imagination, seriousness and humor, the biographer-poet creates a vivid poetic memoir of the adventurous sailor-author of Typee, Moby-Dick, Benito Cereno, Billy Budd and many other works of prose and poetry. In separate poems, for example, she imagines Melville talking with Frederick Douglass in New Bedford, Massachusetts in December, 1840, whaling and savoring sex in the South Seas, responding to what Berkshire gossips say about him, facing writer’s block and family tragedies, and comparing notes on history and politics with George Orwell in the belly of a whale. In one poem, Melville's wife Elizabeth has her say, too. This provocative and accessible poetic portrait is bound to draw new readers to Melville’s writings as well to Laurie Robertson-Lorant’s eminently readable Melville: A Biography (paperback, UMass Press), a "vivid portrait" that “brings to life the Melville who wrote like an angel one day and a madman the next" (David Kirby, The New York Times Book Review)—"a biography that lives, breathes, and speaks--a biography that will endure" (Carolyn Karcher, The New England Quarterly).