Michael Cervas Captivated

ISBN 13: 9781936482047

Captivated

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In Captivated Michael Cervas pulls out all the stops. As in his earlier book, we are given splendid poems in which history, science, foreign culture, and sport are metaphors for essential truth, but now there is an even greater admixture of hilarity and irony, increased emotional depth, and a series of love poems to die for, though beneath it all a current of melancholy runs deep. Captivated begins with poems of childhood, an Edenic condition in which the serpent is never far off but sometimes forgotten. Throughout the book, jubilation and anxiety do battle and both win. Emotions are never half-hearted in these poems, be they the terrible sadness of losing a much-loved father or the ecstasy, danger, and yes, hilarity of all-out love. One of the greatest strengths of Captivated is the way it plays variations on its title, which cuts in opposite directions, pointing toward both captivity and sheer delight. Prepare yourself for a journey into both realms. You will not be the same when you return.

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About the Author:

Michael Cervas lives with his wife Deb on the campus of Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut. From his backyard, he can watch the sun rise over Talcott Mountain and the Farmington River thread its way through the valley below. It is a perfect place for reading and writing. At Westminster, Michael teaches English and directs the school's Poetry Festival as well as the Readings in the Gund Room series. He also enjoys playing music (especially jazz) and sports (especially squash), both of which he considers simply to be other forms of poetry.

Review:

Because Michael Cervas is captivated by life and its luscious, haunting details, ironies, and linkages, he writes mesmerizing poems with the power to transport a reader instantly, fluidly, deliciously into so many places we want to be. I love his work. --Naomi Shihab Nye

In the beautifully measured lines of these poems, Michael Cervas explores the many ways in which we are "captivated" by our lives "here on earth." There are the ambiguities of experience recollected from childhood those occasions when we first found ourselves feeling both "safe" and "scared." And there are the losses that "eat right through" everything, carrying all to an inevitable "anonymity" that even memory cannot hold off. But there are also journeys on which we find ourselves, suddenly and surprisingly, standing on "holy ground," acknowledging "moments of grace in the rush of time." Variously hopeful, grateful, and wryly self-deprecating, Cervas' poems transport us to a place where "love love" is comically affirmed even as its dangers are readily acknowledged. Perhaps, the volume suggests, we can only be captivated by time's wonders when we have come to terms with the ways in which time holds us captive. --James M. Kee

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Michael Cervas
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