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Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems
     

Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems

by Marvin Bell
 

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"Marvin Bell has the largest heart since Walt Whitman."—Harvard Review

"One of our finest and most acclaimed poets."—Booklist

"Charged with making the darkness visible, Bell's 'Dead Man' sometimes glows with an eerily illuminating light."—Publishers Weekly

Marvin Bell is one of America's great poets, and his

Overview

"Marvin Bell has the largest heart since Walt Whitman."—Harvard Review

"One of our finest and most acclaimed poets."—Booklist

"Charged with making the darkness visible, Bell's 'Dead Man' sometimes glows with an eerily illuminating light."—Publishers Weekly

Marvin Bell is one of America's great poets, and his legacy includes the invention of a startling poetic form called the "Dead Man" poems. The Dead Man is alive and dead at once: not a persona, but an overarching consciousness, embedded in poetics and philosophy. Vertigo is the latest from the Dead Man—a brilliant, enigmatic, wise, and wild book.

The dead man stands still, waiting for the boomerang to—you know.
He hears the words of philosophers ricochet among chasms and
     disappear in the far away.
His scent goes forth, his old skin, hair and nails, and he spits, too.
He leans forward to look backward, and the ancient world reappears.
It is the beginning, when mountains, canyons and seas were new,
before the moon had eyes, before paper, before belief.
Anything he says now are souvenirs of the future…

Marvin Bell has published seventeen books of poetry and has received numerous honors, including the Lamont Award and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. He taught for forty years at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and was the first State Poet of Iowa. He lives in Iowa and Washington.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his 18th book of poems, the beloved Bell continues to develop his signature form, the "Dead Man" poem, each of which is actually a pair of linked poems (such as "About the Dead Man's Health" and "More About the Dead Man's Health"). The titular Dead Man is an alter-ego, a wayfarer lost in everyday life, rendered with Bell's combination of deep images, surreal details, and banal experiences. He is simultaneously tough ("the dead man's scars are like bandages") and touchingly vulnerable ("The dead man remembers being an immortal child"); more than anything, the Dead Man speaks out against injustices: "It is the dead man's place to call them out." The Dead Man takes on everything from the nostalgic past ("The dead man remembers the eleven horses cresting the hill as he walked toward them through the buffalo sod) to, and perhaps especially, the burning political and social issues of our moment: "The dead man and the dead woman have had words with our senators./ The dead man is not up to refusing you health care, he is different." Cast in limpid, Whitmanic long lines, these poems are strange, oracular, grumpy, alive, surprising, and, quite often, very beautiful. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781619320017
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Publication date:
06/15/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
120
File size:
463 KB

Meet the Author

Marvin Bell: Marvin Bell is one of America's leading poets. He has published seventeen books of poetry and has received numerous honors, including the Lamont Award from the Academy of American Poets, an NEA fellowship, and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. He taught for forty years at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the current State Poet of Iowa.

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