Front cover image for A Marvin Bell reader : selected poetry and prose

A Marvin Bell reader : selected poetry and prose

The Marvin Bell Reader contains an opening section of poetry, journal entries, an extended prose memoir, the preface to his latest book of poems (The Book of the Dead Man), and a scattering of essays on poetry, literature, and writing. Far from feeling valedictory, this particular selection makes no attempt to sum up a poetic "career" or even to stand for its shape but it does give a model for how to be in the world. Readers are treated to a poetic sensibility, an active mind interested in music, philosophy, politics, photography, trees, weeds, love, writing itself. In short, we are shown a writing life, offered a picture of the man at work- or at thought. The combination of genres makes its own point: these activities are not discrete. Certain images or allusions in the poems come clear as you read the memoir; a witty remark here finds its counterpart in an observation there; a chance recollection surfaces later in a line; a serious undertow tugs from the essays as well as the poetry. Throughout this volume, there is a consistency of voice- at times irreverent, often playful, but always curious and open to surprise.--Judith Kitchen
Print Book, English, ©1994
Middlebury College Press ; University Press of New England, [Middlebury, Vt.], Hanover, ©1994
xvi, 232 pages ; 23 cm
9780874516692, 9780874516708, 0874516692, 0874516706
A Bread Loaf contemporary
The self and the mulberry
White clover
Unless it was courage
He had a good year
Who & where
What is there
Trees as standing for something
To no one in particular
He said to
The uniform
We tried to stop the war
Felt but not Touched
Theory of relativity (political)
What songs the soldiers sang
The hole in the sea
The mystery of Emily Dickinson
The poem
An introduction to my anthology
By different paths
Trees standing bare
Written during depression : how to be happy
Stars which see, stars which do not see
To Dorothy
These green-going-to-yellow
After a line by Theodore Roethke
The stones
Victim of himself
My hate
The condition
The parents of psychotic children
Things we dreamt we died for
The politics of an object
The hen
Jane was with me
Dew at the edge of a leaf
The nest
A man may change
Days of time
Two pictures of a leaf
Sevens (version 3) : in the closed iris of creation
Little father poem. Water, winter, fire
On the word "posture" in the preceding
The last thing I say
Instructions to be left behind
The pill
Poem in orange tones
Eastern Long Island
Ten Thousand Questions answered
Short version of ecstasy
Cryptic version of ecstasy
Poem after Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Just a moment
I am busy being a man
Long Island
How he grew up
The Israeli navy
Music lessons
The delicate bird who is flying up our asses
Ending with a line from Lear
An elm we lost
Drawn by stones, by earth, by things that have been in the fire
A primer about the flag
Acceptance speech
To an adolescent weeping willow
Lawn sprawled out like a dog
Pages #1
Pages #2
Pages #3
The hours musicians keep
What became what : an autobiography
Entry for the Poets' Encyclopedia : five-and-ten
The "technique" of rereading
Three propositions : Hooey, Dewey, and Loony
Bloody brain work
Preface to "The Book of the Dead Man:
The book of the dead man (#3)
The book of the dead man (#14)
The book of the dead man (#23)