Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: Syphilis

Despite not having a TV, I do catch the occasional TV program on DVD, and my all-time favourite series is The Sopranos. Perhaps if I hadn't spent all those hours with mobster Tony Soprano, I wouldn't have chosen gangster Al Capone as the subject of "Syphilis".

This is my favourite poem in the "Book of Diseases" sequence. A three-stage disease like syphilis is already a micro-story in its own right - beginning, middle and end - and syphilis brings a tragic overtone to Capone's brutal and brutish life, playing up the drama of a man brought down by the consequences of his own actions.

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