The Book of the Dead Man, Volume 1
Marvin Bell's ninth major collection of poems is groundbreaking, his most provocative and imaginative work to date. The phrase "the dead man" resounds throughout like a drumbeat registering the wisdom and genius of ignorance, fallibility, and mutability with a Zen-like detachment. Defying paraphrase, Bell's new poems demand to be understood in the context of the incantatory line as he illuminates the transcendent inscape in its moment of self-revelation. The Book of the Dead Man demolishes boundaries between lyric poetry and serio-comic intensity, and announces a poetics of striking spiritual candor.
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