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This newest book of poetry by Louis Daniel Brodsky, ,i>The Words of My Mouth and the Meditations of My Heart, was written in the aftermath of the discovery of his brain cancer and a complicated operation and chemotherapy. During his long period of convalescence and treatment, the poet transforms his pain and struggle into a sequence of poetic meditations and prayers that can inspire and enrich the reader.
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Louis Daniel Brodsky was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941, where he attended St. Louis Country Day School. After earning a B.A., magna cum laude, at Yale University in 1963, he received an M.A. in English from Washington University in 1967 and an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University the following year. From 1968 to 1987, while continuing to write poetry, he assisted in managing a 350-person men's-clothing factory in Farmington, Missouri, and started one of the Midwest's first factory-outlet apparel chains. From 1980 to 1991, he taught English and creative writing, part-time, at Mineral Area Junior College, in nearby Flat River. Since 1987, he has lived in St. Louis and devoted himself to composing poems. He has a daughter and a son. Brodsky was the author of eighty-two volumes of poetry (five of which have been published in French by Éditions Gallimard) and twenty-five volumes of prose, including nine books of scholarship on William Faulkner and nine books of short fictions. His poems and essays appeared in Harper's, Faulkner Journal, Southern Review, Texas Quarterly, National Forum, American Scholar, Studies in Bibliography, Kansas Quarterly, Forum, Cimarron Review, and Literary Review, as well as in Ariel, Acumen, Orbis, New Welsh Review, Dalhousie Review,and other journals. His work was also printed in five editions of the Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry. His most recent books of poetry include A Mississippi Trilogy and The Words of My Mouth and The Meditations of My Heart, which he wrote during his year-plus-long journey living with brain cancer. He passed away from his cancer in June, 2014.Review:
I've been an admiring reader of Louis Daniel Brodsky for many years, and yet I was quite unprepared for the power and beauty of his latest sequence, which arises from his own experience of illness. Only in times of suffering does spiritual progress seem likely, even possible. Brodsky takes us on a harrowing journey but, in the end, he can sing with D. H. Lawrence: "Look, we have come through!" This is strong writing by a poet of considerable range, talent, and freshness. --Jay Parini, author of Jesus: The Human Face of God; The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems; Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America; and The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year
Just a word about just one miracle-working word in Louis Daniel Brodsky's moving new book of poems, a book about suffering and fear and, most of all, the unembarrassed love a man can feel for everything he encounters, even from the depths that threaten to swallow him. (Water or liquid imagery washes over, and through, the entire volume.) The word I choose (it's a favorite with this poet) is "glistening." I stop to savor just one moment of its magic, in "Meditation #53: Green Tea." You see, what happens there (it happens throughout this book) is that the struggle to find healing gives way to, relaxes into, the inflow of the world. The poet seeks the elixir that might restore him. Instead his meditation produces a concentrate of poet-world that dissolves self-concern. Brodsky pursues this High Romantic design with the collected force of his life experience, a story that breathlessly outruns story. It's the story and, finally, the achievement of a good man who struggles continuously to be even better, more aware of others (including loons and leaves), more loving. When we get to the word "glistening" at the end of this poem, we hear the word voiced, flowingly from its gl, by the green tea and the green scene as much as by the poet who sips it, accepts it, past his silent lips. --Sanford Budick, Professor of English Emeritus, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and author of The Dividing Muse: Images of Sacred Disjunction in Milton's Poetry; and Kant and Milton
In these moving and insightful poems modeled after the Book of the Psalms, Louis Daniel Brodsky, gravely ill, looks Death squarely in the face and answers with a series of unyielding affirmations -- a faith in God, faith in human relationships, faith in life's precious passing moments, and, undergirding and supporting all of these, faith in the power and beauty of the poetic voice. --Robert Hamblin, author of From the Ground Up: Poems of One Southerner's Passage to Adulthood; Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season; and Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood
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Book Description Time Being Books, 2014. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1568092415