Marvin Bell Mars Being Red

ISBN 13: 9781556592577

Mars Being Red

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“Marvin Bell has the largest heart since Walt Whitman.”—Harvard Review

In a recent interview Marvin Bell said, “I’ve been trying for thirty years to figure out how best to put the news into poems—what other people would call politics. But there are some hairy aesthetic questions connected to overtly political poems.”

Mars Being Red is the most political book of Bell’s storied career—and one of his most beautiful. Infuriated by our country’s military aggression and destructive politics, Bell asks, What shall we do, we who are at war but are asked / to pretend we are not? What Bell has done is craft a book of urgency and insight, anger and action:

. . . I am, like you, a witness
to the coffins that were Viet Nam and Iraq,
to a political machine that came up three lemons . . .
I am the big ears and the wide eyes
to whom time happened. I lived in stormy weather
writing songs of love because, tell me
if you know, who can help it?

Marvin Bell served on the faculty at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for over thirty years. He is the first and current poet laureate of Iowa.

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About the Author:

Marvin Bell, author of fifteen volumes of poetry and prose, is a distinguished poet and influential teacher who for the past 35 years has served as a faculty member at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2000, the State of Iowa named him its first Poet Laureate.

From Publishers Weekly:

In his 19th collection, Bell warns, I am up late in wartime, seeing war's imprint with all of us who now/ die of the earth. As grimly demotic as ever—but perhaps increasingly attuned to current events—Bell (Rampant) continues to display his familiar virtues: his poems project a consistent voice, direct, laconic, and unsusceptible to illusion. He is also, now, old, terribly aware that I am now old, and interested in the poetry of old age, when Each person gets worse/ in her own way. The ongoing sequence The Book of the Dead Man (on which Bell has worked for over a decade) continues with its sad invocations and flat free verse, one sentence per line. What sets the new poems apart from those of the 1990s also brings them close to some poets of the 1960s: they speak out directly, angrily and almost despairingly against the current administration and the war in Iraq. There are too many body bags to bury in the mind. Unlike many poets of protest, though, Bell ties his antiwar sentiment to an awareness that, even in peacetime, we all must die: We need to think of what might grow in the field/ from our ashes, from the rot of our remains. (July)
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Book Description Copper Canyon Press, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Marvin Bell has the largest heart since Walt Whitman. --Harvard Review In a recent interview Marvin Bell said, I ve been trying for thirty years to figure out how best to put the news into poems--what other people would call politics. But there are some hairy aesthetic questions connected to overtly political poems. Mars Being Red is the most political book of Bell s storied career--and one of his most beautiful. Infuriated by our country s military aggression and destructive politics, Bell asks, What shall we do, we who are at war but are asked / to pretend we are not? What Bell has done is craft a book of urgency and insight, anger and action: . . . I am, like you, a witness to the coffins that were Viet Nam and Iraq, to a political machine that came up three lemons . . . I am the big ears and the wide eyes to whom time happened. I lived in stormy weather writing songs of love because, tell me if you know, who can help it? Marvin Bell served on the faculty at the Iowa Writers Workshop for over thirty years. He is the first and current poet laureate of Iowa. Seller Inventory # AAC9781556592577

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