Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Hilarious, Mad Saint--

Thaliad
The Throne of Psyche


The rain is tapping on the roof and making music in gutterpipes, recalling old paths into the house and testing the Amish roof--for days, men in straw hats and suspenders strode over its peaks in the long-vanished sunshine. I do hope it returns soon.

The Foliate Head
It's poetry month. I am afraid that I mostly ignore poetry month because I write poetry whenever I please (often, at the moment, as my life is exceedingly rambunctious this winter, and I don't have much novel-dreaming time) and not because poetry month tells me it's time for NaPoWriMo or because April is the cruelest month. However, I now remind you, O passer-by and reader, that I have three poetry books in print as of this April, and that they have had ethereal, glorious, vigorous, ridiculously fine reviews and posts and suchlike trumpeting of book-virtue.

It strikes me that writing poetry is the thing I do that most flies in the face of the times and American culture--the thing I am driven to do, despite knowing that readers of poetry are few and that the job of helping one's publisher peddle a few books is daunting. Somehow that just makes me more pigheaded and determined to do what I  do. I am not sure whether that looks mad, hilarious, or saintly from the viewpoint of the general passer-by.

Looking at the three in-print poetry books as a group, I can't help thinking that Clive Hicks-Jenkins has dressed them beautifully--three books from three countries, but all in the most lovely attire. Thanks, dear Clive! And also the designers, Elizabeth Adams for Thaliad, Burt and Burt for The Throne of Psyche, and Andrew Wakelin for The Foliate Head. These lucky books all have beautiful art and immaculate design work.

2 comments:

  1. It's very easy to do beautiful book covers for someone who writes so beautifully!

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am lucky--wealthy in my friends!

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.