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"Donald Revell writes with a drunken equipoise among the weedy flowers and bees of roadside museums and vacant churches. . . .[Here] are poems that border the hereafter and revive the child's play of prophecy. What miraculous assistance they provide!"—Dean Young
Donald Revell pushes boundaries between words and music, transcending our current notion of beauty and innocence. Personal memory, the visionary, the eccentric, and the divine intertwine between networks of stories that connect past and present through paint strokes, composition, and pastoral lyric. Pure of heart poems lie down in a vibrant field of paradox, basking gratefully in the sun of unknowing.
From "Beyond Disappointment":
Hence and farewell valediction: "life's journey."
It makes no sense. The children mock us with it.
A typewriter beneath the Christmas tree
Calls to the icecaps. Illustrated monthlies
Burn in the wasps' burnt nest. It is
Such perfections make the sun to rise.
Donald Revell has authored eleven collections of poetry, most recently Tantivy (2012) and The Bitter Withy (2009). Winner of the PEN USA Translation Award and two-time winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets' Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former Fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. Additionally, he has twice been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Former editor-in-chief of Denver Quarterly, he now serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell is the director of graduate studies and professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
everywhere, and it Will be the death of all gardens. CHILDREN Are bees. DANTE Has a box of crayons he’d like to share. EVERYWHERE There is one flower Afraid of the sunlight. FEAR Desolates the colors, Pigment of bees, pigment of children. GUEVARA Has a magical book. When Someone reads it, she becomes a bird No soldier can harm. HEART Is a hollow island With hands of its own. Those hands crush the heart. ISOLDE Is making her Christmas list At the kitchen table. From time to
there, just there, as today Color and tiny, hazardous stars hang Intervening fires. The middle of life Is nothing. A nuclear pinfold frightens Children frightened already. The chapel there Rises above all of it, is a new deer. Canary-yellow corduroy trousers Embarrass the dream, as though a city Were made of wine stains, red, my mother’s wine, The yellow of imagined birds My father’s disaster, his paint, his car. The Gemini, with Taurus between them, Smile. The chapel is in need of
Being a sociable angel, Music before and after, blushing. Heaven is a nonsense entirely sensible. I was a child on the floor beside you, Making music, becoming small in the rosy Embrace of God’s best messenger. I loved your havoc and your hair. New Colors The tree alive with invisible birds in no leaves Is the soul of winter and says with Yeats We wither into the truth whose truth is simply That we die yet behind us the sky deepens Into the deepest blue I mean to say that I Could
same name. In the scene I’m remembering, the angel Dudley (played by Cary Grant) is seated on the floor beside a child, the Bishop’s little daughter. He tells her a story of a shepherd boy’s fight with a lion, and the story becomes Psalm 23. The scene is so deeply focused, so clear and clean-edged, it could only have been photographed by Gregg Toland, as indeed it was. Cinematographer of Wuthering Heights, The Grapes of Wrath, and Citizen Kane, Toland died in 1948 at the age of forty-four.
Yearling, Lo Kwa Mei-en Sand Opera, Philip Metres Devil, Dear, Mary Ann McFadden Eros Is More, Juan Antonio González Iglesias, Translated by Curtis Bauer Mad Honey Symposium, Sally Wen Mao Split, Cathy Linh Che Money Money Money | Water Water Water, Jane Mead Orphan, Jan Heller Levi Hum, Jamaal May Viral, Suzanne Parker We Come Elemental, Tamiko Beyer Obscenely Yours, Angelo Nikolopoulos Mezzanines, Matthew Olzmann Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books, Edited by