One of the best new releases of this month is…
Hardback: Cambridge UP, June 2016.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Paperback: Southern Indiana Review Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Reviewed by Mark Wendland
The Multitude is a collection of accessible free-verse poems. It is the third published work of the author who has connections to Image Journal and Seattle Pacific’s Response and has worked primarily as an editor. The influence of the multitude of memories on the present loosely form the theme of the collection as a whole. Throughout the haunting of the present with the past is frequently achieved by juxtaposing images from different time periods. In “The Virgin in the City”, Mary shows up in a variety of urban settings from a bus, to a shipping dock, to a classroom. In another poem, the poet notices a leggy girl playing Mario Kart, sitting in the Botticelli room of the Uffizi Art Gallery. She is completely absorbed and seemingly unaware of where she is–like most of us. At times the poet is more daring with the imagery, revealing, and even reveling in, some of her boyish interests. There are repeated references, for example, to early video games. Saint Augustine, wanders around in a giant Pac-Man maze, pursued by “heresies and ghosts of heresies.” In “Endor (Disambiguation)” the Stars Wars planet sits next to references to Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the ancient Canaanite town, all known by the same name. Drawing inspiration from the repetition of the name in all three places, nerdy details comingle with the profound. “Maybe our universe has a finite number of times you can summon the dead so we’ve begun to repeat ourselves.”
Watch for Berry’s latest collection of Sabbath poems, A Small Porch , coming next month!
Also, if you like these poems, I recommend the most complete collection of Berry’s Sabbath poems: This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems.
In remembrance of him, we offer five of his poems that we love from his famed collection LEAVES OF GRASS…
Poets to Come
Bailey was one of the most prominent American botanists and horticulturalists of the early twentieth century. He was also an agrarian writer whose work inspired Wendell Berry and one of the fathers of the Country Life Movement, and yes, also a nature poet.
Yesterday was Bailey’s birthday, and in honor of the occasion, we marked down our edition of his collection of poems to 99c for Kindle!
(This is a limited time offer and a great chance to familiarize yourself with his wonderful poetry!)
with an introductory essay
by C. Christopher Smith
co-author of Slow Church
In honor of the occasion, here are three poems from her recent collection…