NATALIE MAISIE and PAVILASTUKAY by John Mascfield

NATALIE MAISIE and PAVILASTUKAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One long narrative poem, in ballad tradition; one short narrative poem with a symbolic modern note. Both take pretty deep digging to trace the best of Mascfield, one searches for passages of real beauty as assurance that he is still there. The Brothers Grimm might have lighted upon the legend which forms the basis of the romance of the days of Russia and Peter the Great, of the lovely maiden, bethrothed to a sailor, who has the misfortune to attract the lustful attention of the Emperor who would have her for his own. The Empress aids her escape; she is shielded and hidden by forest folk, her sister, parents, and -- at the end of the year, her lover returns from the sea, and finds her in her forest retreat...Pavilastukay is a modern parable, in which a tourist, seeking health, happens upon a lost city, whose perfection gives him confidence again that even in an imperfect world, perfection -once achieved -can be brought about again. The first poem is written in a combination of heroic couplets and rhyme royal, fairly obvious and sometimes forced. The more elaborate verse form of the second poem is better suited to its subject, but becomes monotonous after a time.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1942
Publisher: Macmillan