Winter 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 1 Orpheus. Descending.January 1, 1996 |

Orpheus in the Underworld

Special Section: Orpheus. Descending.   Still jet lagged after a fourteen-hour transatlantic flight held over at Logan while the weather cleared, his night-long fitful tossing in the hotel has at last subsided into stony sleep, as if into the vast lowlands he'd descended step by step through the blurred transparencies of dread or guilt, while the dark banked richly below him now seemed in one broad sweep dispersed by the numbing counterforce of the Nembutal. It's easy to imagine how the light of that uplifted calm, so welcome and while such things last so absolute, might come to seem a loosening rainfall just before dusk in the sand- and-gravel courtyard bordered with grass of a bed and breakfast near Islandmagee; or how the mind at rest might slowly form the sheltered lean-to two people make as they huddle, smoking, lost in talk on the stone seat of a planter-trough beside the ever-present murmurings of the Irish Sea.       It's another thing

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