Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death

Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death

Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death

Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death


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From the Foreword by Matthew Lippman:

“Dan Flanigan is a visionary poet. His series of poems, Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death, based on an ancient service sometimes performed in the Roman Catholic Church, grapples with the death of his wife. In these poems he takes the reader on the journey that his wife endured, and he with her, in her wrenching passage from life to death. I initially read his manuscript sometime ago but still I am filled with its humanity, its depth of vision, and imagination. One of the things that resonates with me most is how willing he was to explore the hardest stuff in order to find his voice. He found it. These poems are some of the most moving poems I have ever read about death. What he has created is astonishing. There is a humanity at the core of these pieces that shakes the reader to the bone. They are moving. They are elegiac. They are celebratory. If sadness and solitude make for big art, these poems are big art. But they are more than that—they are the human heart in a singular and authentic voice. Flanigan’s poetry is everything that I think of when I think of what poetry should be—playful, intelligent, of the personal and the universal simultaneously. So, while the poems have a confessional air to them, they are completely of us, for us, the world at large.

Other of the poems in this book focus on family, on history, on his Irish heritage. In particular, there is a piece entitled “San Josef Bay, Cape Scott, Vancouver Island,” which recounts a walk and conversation between a father and his young daughter. The writing in the prose poem is magical, haunting, and utterly sublime because of what Dan says and does not say all at once. He has that ability, that talent, to know what not to say, to impose silence into a piece, the unsaid, in order to say more, in order to garner the most powerful emotional effect possible.

This is Dan Flanigan’s power—his poetry is an emotional poetry. It is not a sentimental poetry, though. It gets at the heart of the heart and tears things up to build them back up. It is a smart poetry. The ethos of his voiceis strong. When you read his work, you feel like you are in the hands of a master craftsperson, in the hands of a poet who has figured out the big and gorgeous balance between ‘here and there’ at the same time. Like the Tenebrae poems, his other pieces, though different in subject matter, come from the same well-spring and express, again, the depth of humanity that is so heartbreaking and exquisite in his work.

Dan Flanigan’s poems are for the world, for every man and woman who wants to know more about the beauty and the suffering that are in a state of constant collision.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733610322
Publisher: Arjuna Books
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Pages: 78
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.19(d)

About the Author

Dan Flanigan is a novelist, poet, and playwright, as well as a practicing lawyer. His novel, Mink Eyes, is set in 1986 and explores the "greed is good" dynamic and the cultural tensions and gender complexities of that era. It is a modern hero's quest in mystery-detective form. Dan has also developed a screenplay version of Mink Eyes. He has also published a book of verse and prose poetry, Tenebrae: A Memoir Of Love And Death. He will soon publish Dewdrops, a collection of his shorter fiction. He has also written the full-length plays-Secrets (based on the life of Eleanor Marx) and Moondog's Progress (based on the life of Alan Freed). He enjoys college basketball, ballet, modern dance, the theatre in its manifold forms, and sacred music. His inspirations include J.S. Bach, Shakespeare, Rumi, Bob Dylan, Secretariat (yes, the horse), Joseph Campbell, W.B. Yeats, Turgenev, James Joyce, Robert Stone, and E.L. Doctorow. Dan also is also a social commentator of sorts, and his occasional observations about the culture, travel, and, when he can't hold it in any longer, politics, can be found at www.DanFlaniganBooks.com.

Table of Contents


FOREWORD by Matthew Lippman i

ADDITIONAL PRAISE FOR Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death iii


1—Sonora 5

2—Quills 7

3—72ND & Amsterdam 11

4—The Second Theological Virtue 15

5—Certain Proceedings In The Tribunals Of A Vanity Called Hope 16

6—Incidents Of Life On Death Row 20

7—A Trip To The Underworld 25

8—Under The Redbud Tree 28

9—Briar Rose 31

10—Word And Flesh 33

11—Last Words 34

12—Resurrection Day 36

13—De Profundis (A Sparrow’s Fall) 39

14—“I Paid Them The Things I Never Took” 41

15—Strepitus: Like A Fallen Empire 44

Quanta [A Brief Guide To Quantum Theory (And Exposure Of The Absurdity Thereof, Perhaps)] 46

Lincoln Blvd., Highway 1, Los Angeles 47

San Josef Bay, Cape Scott, Vancouver Island 49

The Irish In America: Aunt Kate 56

The Irish In America: Mary And Herb 57

The Irish In America: Annie D 58

That Sunday Morning 61

Ecce Homo 62

Dido Revisited 63

Prodigal 2 64

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