Cruel April: An Interview with the Author of “Sonnets from the Pandemic”

Daniel Mark Epstein is an award-winning poet and biographer. In April of 2020, he wrote a sonnet sequence about the pandemic, which formed the basis of a collaborative film produced by Holly Peppe, along with input by Paul Hecht and artistic direction by Doug Trapp. Below is the recent conversation I had with Epstein last summer about the remarkable project (edited for length and clarity). 

Readers may access the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDJ4TKPqNTc

Calypso’s Spell

This host who should be at his home
Tending to his very own
Defending them from suitors long
Camped upon his fertile lawn
Consuming his substantial wealth
While vying for his faithful wife—
He, the brave Odysseus,
The quick-change artist Ithacan,
Cannot escape the witching nymph
Bright host who yet detains her guest
To occupy unwilling lips
And other parts (his nether tips)
In arching cave by night her slave
When god-sent darkness shrouds the sea
Its brackish channels beckoning
To one who cannot leave.