Author of America's First Modern Epic Poem
I've been reading Chandos Ring online and finding it fascinating - I'd love to have a physical copy that I could read away from the computer and also lend to people. Also, I think your websites are great, not only because of the generous amounts of poetry, but also your prose manifestos, which I find illuminating and provocative. Keep up the good work!
Yours is the first, and only, book ... It is profoundly interesting and I am thoroughy enjoying reading it. My pages are marked, highlighted - I feel like I'm back in school. The only difference -- this time I enjoy your New Philosophy.
I have been writing since (age) 8 and it is my current dream to bring poetry back into our social and political intellectual discourse. It is next to impossible for the poet's story to get out, unless you are uber liberal, then maybe a publication will give you the time of day. I've spent countless hours researching and reading. Feeling like a lost ship in a sea (in) want of poetry. Sigh. But wait, then I find folks like you Mark who give me hope -- really. Anyway, here's the link to my book...
...I am on chapter six and have read poem up to 222. To keep it pithy, which is rather difficult, b/c it is chocked full of so many wonderful wor(d)s of wisdom and calls for deeper thought beyond the pages. I will better answer when I finish reading.
A veritable hit!
This is a fascinating review of Western personality and philosphy with an entirely new lense and level of thought and inspiration. It is palpable and real, highly academic, yet highly readable. And, I studied about story in grad school incidentally.
An eloquent and objective blend of the spiritual, religious, and scientific with the humanity, the internal stories, within us all, the art we create, and the fantastic written word. A refreshing addition of incantation poetry and it's role, or lack thereof in our society, is what separates this book from others. Inviting concepts and critical moments of clarity, worthy any writer's consideration.
I like that you leveled the playing field by being objective, open minded and HONEST. An excellent and novel look at the history of our collective "story" and the shamefully missing components of poetry and philosophy based on flashes of insight and human achievements inspired by God. ...in ways we never will be able to completely understand, but we sure do attempt to (understand), through the act of story telling, our very existence.
Mark you sure do a great job of evoking some of the greats like the Gospel (the part on Cain was good) and Einstien and others which resonated with me.
God and Poetry ARE the sudden arrival of the strange! "God always enters holding something strange."
I love the mathmatical formula on page 34 and I hate math but this one I got!
Page 131 is deep and intriguing. I found myself actually getting upset b/c I was questioning and challenging my own work based on this thesis (I am no beautiful poet) and I've had to read, and reread. "A poet has only one task, to master the unaccountable." I question if "I possess a mastery of human darkness and language in the ear." Do I transcend my own pesonality. Ah, these are the questions for today's greatest living poets. :) I am not worthy. LOL ...
.... I am so glad. Likewise. I think the idea of a nation epic is great. What exactly did you have in mind? As I remember you mention that a title of a poem/piece should tell you in one line something??? I also like these points:
-"A story, a myth, a poem, is no different than a sharp tool." Amen
-"Today, capitalism has no power to check it, since the poets are silent. There is a heavy price to pay in suffering." Lines like this, and there are an abundance to be sure, are really quite brilliant.
-Like this one . . . "Story alone interprets the earth." So simple, but highly profound. I love it!
I came upon your books and was fascinated by your ability to write in clear sentences in spite of your high level of thought. A theme you appear to stress is communication and I can understand your desire to have your poetry come across clearly to the reader. I am a great believer that the most complex set of thoughts can be presented in simple terms.
I will be reading your book, Chandos Ring.
I read through the poems you sent me. I am astounded! Where did you come from? WHy have we not heard of you? i am extremely impressed, it is something that i will have to read over and over, in peace time. but please note i am not very grammatical so i wasnt reading looking for mistakes like that i was reading with the aspect of finding which rung on the ladder of life i am on it makes me want to rise to the next and the next. Mark, With space and time these words will prove the nation's treasure. America never had a voice as clear as yours.
Your verse has deep meaning understanding and experience, i believe that is what we are here for, and to seek to find great art - to witness great minds.. Your great versus allow the freedom of expression that not all of us can readily obtain, it gives one the space to understand where one might possibly be. it is poetry that states that there is no wrong or incorrect understanding, it gives one the ability to examine and explore where one is, and then to move quietly and steadily on Your immortal versus are very apt right now, with the subtle transitions that are taking place in society, in which the world is currently under, where people are beginning to ask and question, why am i here. In your Epic poetry the answers may be found; and sooner. toward the silent sound within, peace to cherish.
kindest regards robin baldwin
I thank you again for sharing your work with with me and am happy to comment on the philosophy aspect, yes, to be is to have it all. It is in this area of the poem that one is assured that they are reading what they suspected they were reading with certainty, that is to say the reader becomes aware that you yourself fully knew what you were up to. There is a natural hilarity incipient at the conjunction where you present the poem as a poem. It is just so excellent, beautiful, sad, alluring and repugnant, immature and wizened, these features together in line after line. High humor, beyond that, the dilemma not of just one mans life, but of his other lives. Tell the world you have found God, of course it is a little scary but what did we expect? We dream, you bring evil for inspection, you bring love. This is why men love evil, it is childish and the items of children are loved.
I think of the new age paradigm, the explanations of multiplicity, numerous books which hint at the provocative alternate otherness of humanity. And here you are writing on the wall, first person to first person. When you bring your story to market don't forget to reach for this audience who are so ready to gobble this up, this eye opener.
There is no criticism I can give, not that you were really looking for any. Everything is story, or translates into story. I think you do a great service, perhaps a greater service for critics than the poets themselves. But it is hugely affirming for poets, even for someone like myself who has penned for so long, I have to admit that I am sometimes daunted by my own voice. But I am putting myself to the task of explaining it. Of course it's all prefect.
But I believe that any student of literature or philosophies will be impressed, so your name may live forever with this work, good timing. It may be that in this venue your voice is beyond rare. I think that the talented will be elated to read what you have to tell them, yes, they will love it.
I hope you get a great reception Mark, there are so many students who must be frustrated with protocol, it is disheartening I would think for a poet to learn by wrote or be quoted from it. The language of music and math can not be translated into words and so should words retain their magic, like you said, that's poetry.
I really want to encourage you to get the word out about your work. I'm sure you have considered everything and really hope you take advantage of all the e-zines that are looking for articles. All kinds of poetry portals where your article could start a lot of activity and refer back to your book. No one will argue you there... Just my thought, as much good as the book will do an article plastered around will infest some budding poets and bring a lot of hope to many authors. I hope you have a great send off.
I had wanted to say something substantial, helpful. But I am sure you have nailed it, I am sure that over time you will feel as confident as you do now, just a sense I have, your book will fly for you. As your work has already caused a stir, not much of a comment for the introduction but like your poetry, I love it. It is all very deep, it's a surprise because it can be discovered and thought of, while on another level we already know these truths so minds will resonate with it.
You are right also in that you provide a service for literacy, by removing some of its dampers. Refreshing the poet to find their own voice, to connect with their own instinct, what could be more important than that?