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Dreaming at the Gates of Fury: New and Selected Poemsby Alexander Taylor
"Taylor's poems sing to me. They're deeply political, yet not defined by that alone. They are redolent of all the things that make up a life, and they weave together the many threads that give life texture and meaning. They are a profound 'yes!' to the adventure and challenge and wonder of living. If only for that reason alone they are worth reading." Chris Faatz, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
The poems in Dreaming at the Gates of Fury: New and Selected Poems span 50 years, from the height of the Civil Rights movement to the invasion of Iraq, and reflect the author's involvement in social protest and anti-war movements.
The poems range in tone from the satiric to the celebratory. There is a touch of Catullus in the sixties poems, where Taylor observes characters struggling for personal liberation from stifling conventions, and a savage but comic irony in such political poems as "President Reagan's Song." Some of these poems, such as "Walking," also dramatize the struggles of the wayward heart in a voice that is sometimes romantic but never sentimental so that the reader knows that the emotions are earned. In fact, the voice in these poems abhors sentimentality and the "easy fixes" offered by popular commercial culture, as in the final poem, "Is Something Missing?":
I must have lived my life all wrong,
Whether conversational, satiric or elegiac, these poems communicate in a direct and clear language a lived life struggling to fully realize its humanity by fighting for the humanity of others. Taylor's voice is indeed a rare voice today when so much poetry merely spins its chariot wheels in the ditch of self-absorption.
About the Author
Alexander Taylor has been Co-Director of Curbstone Press since its founding in 1975. The founder of two literary magazines, Patterns and The Wormwood Review, he has worked most of his adult life as an editor and teacher.
He was Poet-in-Residence at Central Connectiuct State University in 1974 and 1976. Author of four books of poetry, Clear Water, Zadar, Love Is a Terrible Light, and Voices in the Park, he has also translated extensively from Danish literature. His poems and translations have appeared in numerous magazines, including CafE Review, Cedar Hill Review, Common Ground, the Connecticut Review, Kayak, the Massachusetts Review, the Minnesota Review, Northern Lights, Rattle, and the Unrealist.
He has also been the recipient of numerous grants for writing and translating, including support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, The American Philosophical Society, The American Council for Learned Societies, and the Danish Academy.
He lives in Willimantic, Connecticut.
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