Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Elegy by Mary Jo Bangs

Mary Jo Bangs' recent book Elegy is one of my new favourites. Here's a link to a video of the poet reading from it, from a nifty website with links to many such videos: Rabbit Light Movies: a bi-annual journal of poemfilms

As well, here's a review of the book, which can be found on the Graywolf Press website:

“The loss of a child—especially an only child who is in the prime of life—is one of the most painful experiences anyone can have and one, common sense tells us, almost impossible to render in an age of sensory overload. But Mary Jo Bangs' Elegy is the grand exception. In its insistence on “the inexhaustible / Need to be accurate,” Elegy is wholly absorbing. Avoiding all self-pity, false comfort, sentimentality or finger pointing, Bang’s terse, oblique poems anatomize grief, guilt, and mourning in pitiless detail. Do things ‘improve’ by the end of the year whose progress this heartbreaking book charts? Not really, but the reader is transformed. I know of no contemporary elegy that has its power.” —Marjorie Perloff

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