Friday, October 19, 2012

An Introduction To A Poet………………David Lloyd.

One of the wonderful things about writing about poetry is the learning curve I find myself on, sometimes when I’m introducing a specific poet the introduction is not only to those reading the post, but to myself as well. Sometimes, this discovery is a totally new writer with their first collection, and other times it is a poet that has a decent body of work that I’ve become aware of, or a more accurate description would be that I stumble upon a poet, and with head held high tell all and sundry about my latest discovery……… So here I go again.

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David Lloyd was born in the Welsh-American mining community of Utica, New York (1954), as well as being a professor of English, he is the director of the creative writing program at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. David Lloyd is also the author of six books, including a work of fiction Boys: Stories and a Novella, two poetry collection The Everyday Apocalypse, and The Gospel according to Frank and as editor he was behind The Urgency of Identity: Contemporary English-Language Poetry from Wales, an anthology of poems and interviews, presenting the important English-language Welsh poets of the 1980s – 90s. His poems have appeared in numerous journals in the US and Britain, including Double Take, Planet and Poetry Wales. In 2000, he received the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award, judged by W. D. Snodgrass.David Lloyd Warriors

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His latest collection, and the first I’ve read of his, is Warrior.  It is divided into five parts entitled The Great Khan, Lords Of The Jungle, Father And Son, Bedtime Stories and Lessons In Geography.

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This collection ranges far and wide drawing on characters from the past, whether historical or mythological and uses them to address issues that being timeless in nature are just as valid now. In this book Genghis Khan, Sitting Bull, and St Peter share space with characters from popular culture such as John Wayne and Tarzan, all raising their heads above the parapet and questioning everything from love, whether of family or Eros, to questions of politics, whether international or domestic.

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Miracle. (Lords Of The Jungle)

It was St peter wasn’t it.

who walked on water, if only

for a few seconds

before water became itself again

and his feet recalled

their human limitations?

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But what a glorious moment -

to be absent in the amnesia of miracle,

unable to know the difference

between earth and sea, fire and air,

between the promises our bodies make

and the ones they keep,

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stepping light years distant

from the beating heart, from friends

spellbound in the boat,

from fish in nets,

from even the simplest fact.

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What I found really thrilling in this collection was the urgency of the writing, several of the poems particularly in the section titled Genghis Khan, reminded me of Crow, by Ted Hughes, there was a force that had that same confrontational nature, that had an almost suppressed  violence, almost. Yet, at the same time some of these poems have a delicate intimacy, a sweetness that comes from close ties, for example the poems in Father And Son, were beautiful and as a father myself brought a lump to my throat.

II.  First Bruise. ( Father And Son)

Why, the son asked his father, did you let go?

Why, he asked next, did the floor rise

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to bruise my head? and why,

he further enquired, did the air not resist

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Why did the blood congeal without my consent?

Why did the skin prolong the agony?

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Why did the moment

then lodge itself in memory

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like a nipple between lips

or a tongue in a mouth without words?

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An introduction is the act of starting something for the first time, and it is in that moment that something new is created, something fresh, something that could be startling, that with a little effort can become so much more. Although this is not this writers first work, it is the first I was aware of, making it my introduction to this poet, my first experience, but not my last.

David Lloyd(Website)

Salt Publishing

Winning Writers(David Lloyd)

NEW WELSH REVIEW

8 comments:

Bellezza said...

Okay, Parrish, you have posted a poem which deeply moves me, that of St. Peter, and the line that follows: "to be absent in the amnesia of miracle". There's so much to think about in that poem, so much to absorb about faith and my human limitations. So often I pray, such as the man in the New Testament, "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." Thanks for these lovely poems and the title of a book with a mesmerizing cover.

Parrish Lantern said...

Hi Bellezza, Those were my favourite lines also, sent a shimmer down my spine. Check out pomesallsizes on Twitter for another of his, although it's from the Father and Son section it also has that ability.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Parrish, thanks for writing about David Lloyd and his poetry. I also liked "Miracle," a fine poem, indeed. I often read 18th and 19th century poems whenever I feel like; I find them very inspiring. I particularly like reading poetry slowly, in a quiet place if possible, the best way to enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

Nice color choice on the blog. It is really easy on my eyes and I have bad eyes too so that's a really big compliment lol

Rise said...

sometimes when I’m introducing a specific poet the introduction is not only to those reading the post, but to myself as well

That's something that applies to me as well, even in fiction, I guess. Thanks for sharing your intro to David Lloyd. You chose well the two mind-provoking poems.

stujallen said...

wonderful agree with bellazza very touching ,love the thought of welsh americans never heard of them before ,apart from the ones chatwin met in argentina ,all the best stu

Harvee Lau said...

As one who writes poetry, I do appreciate your reviews! I'll look for his book in the library or bookstore!

Parrish Lantern said...

Hi Harvee, I'm more of a word-Botherer than a poet, but thanks for your comment, he is a writer well worth checking out.