In his thrillingly contemporary retelling of the world’s oldest epic, award-winning poet Derrek Hines brings us as close as we may ever come to re-creating the power it had over its original listeners more than four thousand years ago in the ancient Near East.
Gilgamesh, the semi-divine ruler of Uruk, is a larger-than-life bully and abuser of his people. In order to tame the arrogant king, the gods create the wild and handsome Enkidu. But after Enkidu and Gilgamesh become fast friends, they defy the gods in a series of outsized adventures that brings Gilgamesh face to face with both loss and death itself. Hines energizes this timeless tale with vivid and electrifyingly modern images, from the goddess Ishtar cracking the sound barrier, to a battlefield nightmare of spectral snipers and exploding hand grenades, to the CAT-scan image of a dying friend. The themes of love and friendship, grief, despair, and hope had their first great expression in this story, and this dazzling new interpretation brings us into its thrall again.