Today I'm pleased to introduce to you a wonderful poet and friend Barry Marks, award-winning author of POSSIBLE CROCODILES (Brick Road Press, 2010) and his recently released SOUNDING (Negative Capability Press, 2012) which contains poems written as Barry grieved the sudden death of his eldest daughter Leah.
Elegy has a long tradition in poetry -- Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies immediately leap to mind -- and Barry's poems are moving and powerful, and ultimately hopeful. Anyone who has ever loved and lost anything or anyone will find something here that speaks especially to them.
Here's one of my favorites in the collection:
by Barry Marks
How John and I are fishing,
Because of everything.
How you find bass
where the shore and the weeds
and a fallen log make structure.
How John has caught a bass
and I have not.
There is so much I would show you.
How the mist glides over Lay Lake
and two men,
the men who loved you,
the men who failed you,
sit in their little boat, one talking,
the other silent within himself.
How your name
is the only word I hear.
This collection will move you and inspire you. And don't let this serious lawyer-pic fool you! Barry has a delightful wry, lighthearted side that pops up all the time in his work -- and he has written many a love poem. He's quite the versatile writer. Also, many of my poems are better for his feedback. Thanks, Barry!
And because I think so highly of SOUNDING -- and of Barry -- I am giving away an autographed copy. To enter, simply reply in comments OR send me an email to irene at irenelatham dot com OR send me a tweet @irene_latham. Contest will be open until Sunday, August 19, 11:59 pm. Good luck!
And now, so you can get to know Barry a bit better, here's a short Q & A. Enjoy!
What were your favorite books when you were a teen?
After the obligatory Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allen Poe I met the Beats and their naughty friends. At 15 or so I started On the Road, Tropic of Capricorn, Naked Lunch. Oddly, I remained traditional in poetry until college: Yeats, Thomas, the Romantics (especially Byron) and the Cavaliers (especially Lovelace).