In Hours of the Cardinal, a mother's death triggers poems that journey through grief into the unnamable origins of consciousness-before thought, talk, even printed words. These elegies weave stories and anecdotes from literature and the visual arts, literally trying to cheat death by facing it, even facing it down. The ghosts that take flesh in this collection are poets such as Tsvetayeva, Mandelstam, and Tu Fu, painters such as Max Ernst and Kahlo, the mystic Henry Vaughan, the singer-dancer Josephine Baker. By reprising these lives of exile and grief, the poems celebrate the body's attempt to endure in the face of historical atrocities, like the holocausts, racism, and the commodification of the human spirit. In the process of memorializing such lives, Richard Lyons fictionalizes his mother as one more member of the "great dead" as he levels the living and the dead by collaging autobiography and history into narrative meditations that carry the dignity of the individual against forces of greed and conformity.
Series: The James Dickey Contemporary Poetry Series
Number Of Pages: 90
Published: 1st March 2000
Publisher: UNIV OF SOUTH CAROLINA PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97
Weight (kg): 0.14