Aid and Comfort

Aid and Comfort

by Greg Johnson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


"These poems are as poignantly felt as they are skillfully made. I hope they will find many readers."--James Merrill

"Reading Aid and Comfort, I was reminded of John Gardner's description of the true artist as one who, in the face of death, invents prayers and weapons. Greg Johnson has turned his extraordinary gifts to that task, fashioning a work

…  See more details below

Overview


"These poems are as poignantly felt as they are skillfully made. I hope they will find many readers."--James Merrill

"Reading Aid and Comfort, I was reminded of John Gardner's description of the true artist as one who, in the face of death, invents prayers and weapons. Greg Johnson has turned his extraordinary gifts to that task, fashioning a work of power and courage--prayers that are direct and plainly spoken, yet sing; weapons that flash in the late sunlight."--Judson Mitcham

Though this collection deals with a range of disturbing issues--the AIDS epidemic, aging, suicide, psychological aberration, and the violence of contemporary America--it is rich with the "aid and comfort" of compassion, truth, and a language of survival. Immersed in the shared experience of sorrow, the poems rise above mere confessions of grief to speak in a voice of dignity and hard-earned wisdom.

Greg Johnson, associate professor of English at Kennesaw State College, is the author of the novel Pagan Babies (1993) and two short story collections, Distant Friends (1990), for which he was named Georgia Author of the Year, and A Friendly Deceit (1992). He has won prizes from the Academy of American Poets and the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project competition; his short fiction has been included in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and New Stories from the South: The Year's Best. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

University of Central Florida Contemporary Poetry Series

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Language itself is the focal point of fiction writer Johnson's ( Pagan Babies ) first collection of poetry: the words family and doctors don't say to those who are dying; the friend who wants to go out with a good exit line; even a brilliant poem about a heterosexual man hearing the words safe sex for the first time. In the lyrical and sensitive poems that fill the book's first half, AIDS is a ``clever acronym that denies / just what it spells.'' In the second half, the speaker seems to withdraw slightly from emotions that threaten to overwhelm him and recalls that AIDS is not the only cause of death. Rhyme, used sparingly but perfectly in the first section, becomes a bit more intrusive. These poems--about literary figures (Nietzsche, Virginia Woolf), strangers viewed in a crowd or read about in newspapers, the wrinkles on one's face that are ``little deaths''--lose some of their potency but none of their integrity. This is, after all, the same poet who, in the book's second poem, shows someone visiting a dying man he was never really close to. The book's overall power rivals that of Paul Monette's recent poems. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813011875
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
02/28/1993
Series:
University of Central Florida Contemporary Poetry Series
Edition description:
First
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.47(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >