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Q&A: Philosophy professor Ray Briggs on politics’ role in modern poetry

Ray Briggs is a professor of philosophy at Stanford, and has published two books of poetry: “Free Logic” and “Common Sexual Fantasies, Ruined,” in addition to the zine “Modern American Gods” (in collaboration with artist Anna Zusman). “Free Logic” won the 2012 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for emerging poets in Queensland and was shortlisted for a 2014 Queensland Literary Award.

Imperfect reflection in Modigliani

“If he shall himself not know…” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, III, 348 The perfect youth reclines by the pond — his reflection undisturbed. In the stillness of the woods, where neither bird nor beast intrudes, he comes to know himself as a stagnant reflection. Narcissus’ doom, as portrayed by Ovid in Metamorphoses, is rooted in this…