Chimes: selected short poems
In this volume Michael Dennis Browne has gathered together short poems from every phase of his long career into chapters focusing on childhood, nature, private anxieties and irrationalities, extended family, and other themes variously spacious and personal. Some have the ring of nursery rhymes, others the melancholy lilt of an elegy, the blunt force of an occasional poem by Yeats, or the enigmatic resonance of a passage from scripture. There are times when a few phrases can conjure an indelible moment of experience, and perhaps an entire universe, though the reader must fill in the blanks. We meet up with such moments repeatedly in the pages of this compact and powerful collection
One of the main themes is the essential presence of music and music-making in the world; “I would never go into the dark without the voices,” as the title poem says. The book also includes a number of elegies for departed family members and friends in balance with poems that celebrate existence—“love your life,” as the final (wedding) poem insists. The epigraph at the beginning of the book suggests the way we all must live in contradiction.
The book is dedicated to Stephen Paulus.
Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015
5 1/2 x 8 1/2″ Poetry
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