Late Psalm takes the themes of those ancient songs of joy and grief and transposes them into the language of contemporary life. These poems are psalms in that they continually long to approach the sacred; they are "late" in that they come in an age defined by questioning and irony. The book is an argument between No and Yes, Nothing and Everything, and is structured as a sort of "call and response," one poem saying No, another countering with Yes. Themes of social justice are threaded through the book, along with an interest in the sources and improvisations of jazz. The human figures in these poems are often latter-day pilgrims negotiating the rocky ground between relinquishment and embrace, walking city streets, gazing into lobster tanks, standing among the neon juke music of boardwalks, jogging shore roads, learning how faith and doubt are inseparable sidekicks.
Betsy Sholl is the author of five books including "The Red Line" and "Don t Explain," 1997 winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. She teaches English at the University of Southern Maine and poetry at Vermont College."
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- ID: 9780299198947
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