The straightforward poems of Parker's fifth collection reach for opposing poles, combining the sublime and the everyday, the lumbering elephant and the ethereal butterfly. Parker's fascination with the commonplace-the dog drinking from the toilet, a child standing under a waterfall, the morning commute-makes an owl flying in front of a drive-in movie projector into a visitation, and the recollection of a valet job approaches transcendence: "I loved being/ in other people's cars,/ which felt like being out of my body/ and driving around in other people's bodies," he writes in "Cars Poetica." While elevating the familiar, Parker also humanizes the heavens, as in "Jelly Jar Ode," which describes "the bulletin board that is// the sky," on which "push pins/ tack the dark, the night / an office cleaned by God." With irreverent juxtapositions and liturgical echoes, Parker seeks answers to big questions, stumbling sometimes or telling too much, and sometimes anchoring his poems with poignant ironies and vivid images; always, Parker writes with great sincerity. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Elephants & Butterfliesby Alan Michael Parker
Elephants & Butterflies combines the imaginative forays of The Vandals with the more meditative approach of Love Song with Motor Vehicles. Both wild and calm, boisterous and quiet, the poems in Elephants & Butterflies use surprise, song, and startling metaphor while allowing the ideas to simmer just below the surface of the lyric. The/i>/i>/i>/i>… See more details below
Elephants & Butterflies combines the imaginative forays of The Vandals with the more meditative approach of Love Song with Motor Vehicles. Both wild and calm, boisterous and quiet, the poems in Elephants & Butterflies use surprise, song, and startling metaphor while allowing the ideas to simmer just below the surface of the lyric. The poems manage the difficult task of being highly readable and accessible, while still containing complex philosophical and personal knowledge.
Alan Michael Parker (www.amparker.com) teaches at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. He also teaches at Queens University, where he is core faculty in the low-residency MFA program.
Meet the Author
Alan Michael Parker (www.amparker.com) is the author of five collections of poems including The Vandals (BOA, 1999), and Love Song with Motor Vehicles (BOA, 2003). He is editor of The Imaginary Poets, co-editor of The Routledge Anthology of Cross-Gendered Verse, and Editor for North America of Who's Who in 20th Century World Poetry.
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