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Michael Aiken : Satan Repentant single work   essay  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Michael Aiken : Satan Repentant
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'This is a really unusual and fascinating book, a kind of micro Paradise Lost but with a brilliant twist that deepens the poetry and our response to it. More of that later but initially it is worth noting that Michael Aiken’s first book, A Vicious Example, which has a high degree of focus on observing parts of Sydney, seems so different to this cosmic narrative that no easily observable continuities exist, although they must be there since both books, after all, have their origins in the same poet and the same sensibility. Continuities might, in fact, be obvious to the poet though hidden from readers. Satan Repentant is a re-imagining of the events immediately after Satan’s expulsion from heaven after his unsuccessful rebellion. Instead of “rolling in the fiery gulf, / confounded though immortal”, in this version he undergoes a rehabilitation, negotiating with God and contenting himself with being reborn, re-incarnated as a human being. His position as leader in Hell is taken by Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) who transforms into a creature not entirely unlike some medieval versions of Satan himself: a kind of pig-god (reading this book, I can’t help thinking that this is a little unfair to pigs) multi-legged, inclined to spewing out all kinds of corrupt liquids. Re-enacting the opening of Job, Beelzebub persuades God to allow him free access to the human version of Satan. Satan’s uncomfortable prospects are multiplied when two of the archangels, on their own initiative, contrive to attack him as well on the principle that if God relents and allows Satan back into heaven then their own futures, as his erstwhile enemies, won’t be too promising either.' (Introduction)

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Last amended 17 Oct 2018 09:03:52
http://www.australianpoetryreview.com.au/2018/09/michael-aiken-satan-repentant/ Michael Aiken : Satan Repentantsmall AustLit logo Australian Poetry Review
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