The four books from Revolution to Every are set outside the USA; the subsequent seven, from Magic to All (with the exception of half the sonnets of Her, set in Cambodia), are set within the USA. With Possibly, the second book of APHRODITE, we leave the USA not to return, till we reach the final book of the Sentence. The sequence’s second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth books are set, respectively, in South America and Iberia, India, Egypt, Thailand, Italy and Scandinavia. In tours Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, four of the five Scandinavian “swans.” (Only Possibly, with its eight countries, has a greater geographical range.) One subspecies of epic is the geographical. After Homer’s Odyssey, the Alexandrian epic becomes even more wide-ranging, till in the age of discovery Camoens describes a trip around the world undertaken by Vasco da Gama. Sentence of the Gods, however, is the first epic in which the poet himself describes in situ the world at large. Much is omitted: the Polar Regions, subequatorial Africa, Polynesia. In at least gazes down from high above on continental Asia, as MM flies from Hong Kong to Copenhagen. Absent Iceland, In’s summertime Scandinavia constitutes a pastoral, but unlike those of Theocritus, Vergil, Sanazzaro, Marot and Spenser, this one is real rather than imagined. In is one of the most charming books of the Sentence.
The full text of In
"Allegorical Details in the Sentence"