Review: Book of Songs (trans. James Trapp)

Sometimes a publisher and author together create a beautiful book, a keepsake as well as a joy to read, and Amber Books (London, UK 2021) has done just that in publishing a selection from the ancient Chinese Book of Songs (“Shi-Jing“). Highly recommended.

Set in a bright yellow, cloth-like-covered book the size and firmness of a wooden paddle, these poems are filled with refrains of loving and longing, and subtle music of the seasons at home and of travel, and of life at court. The wonderful dressing making them feel as real as water flowing over stone as you bend down and retrieve a bright pebble from a normally shallow, now gushing summer stream bed.

While I myself enjoy the ancient Chinese poets in translation, especially those books translated by Red Pine gifted to us through Copper Canyon, I have not beforehand dipped into the Book of Songs.

This selection is not overwhelming and refreshing. The care of the binding, the rich smooth interior paper, makes it feel like someone has brought precious music and knowledge from far away, and left it at your doorstep.

Midwest Review Covers Simultaneous Revolutions

“Simultaneous Revolutions reaches into the heart, mind, and literary worlds with images that resonate long after the reading is over. It’s highly recommended.” D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review (Aug. 2021).

Simultaneous Revolutions (Poems) – Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

G.H. Mosson and Marcus Colasurdo

PM Press

www.pmpress.org

ISBN: 9781629638676

$5.95 Pamphlet / $2.99 ebook

Donovan’s Bookshelf, http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/aug_21.htm#dianedonovan

Direct Link: http://donovansliteraryservices.com/august-2021-issue.html#srp

Warrior With Shield (Poem)

“Warrior With Shield,” a poem of mine that I began around fifteen years ago or so, and based on a Henry Moore sculpture, is out with Wrath Bearing Tree, linked below.

It is amazing to work on something for this long, and maybe change in one’s life (without doubt) while trying to hone in on the original impression and insight. It is great to see how the poem has evolved, hopefully into greater expression of the essence of the instinct.

I certainly am grateful for the editors of Wrath Bearing Tree for seeing what I saw and still see!

WARRIOR WITH SHIELD: https://www.wrath-bearingtree.com/…/new-poetry-from-g…/

Moore’s Sculpture, Image Link: https://collections.artsmia.org/…/warrior-with-shield…

Hazelton Arts League (May 2021)

We were honored to debut a reading at this new, beautiful community arts-making space with musicians in Hazelton, PA.

Marcus and I read from Simultaneous Revolutions (PM Press 2021), co-authored by G. H. Mosson and Marcus Colasurdo, and a few additional poems to decorate the evening.

The Hazelton Art League is a great asset to the community, and their online home can be found here: https://www.hazletonsartleague.org/.

Thank you Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine

For publishing “Becoming Suzy” and “Bozo’s Exile,” and also, to Free State Review‘s editor too for helping the poem, Becoming Suzy, be realized, before submitted and accepted here. I know Suzy now. This is a gorgeous magazine out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and their online home is found here: https://www.sanskritmagazine.com/.

Thank you Cardinal Sins

For publishing Dad’s Harvest Song and Janet’s Fire Escape in 2021. Janet’s Fire Escape, for me, is a long time favorite. For the journal’s online home at Saginaw Valley State University, see https://www.cardinalsinsjournal.com/

Simultaneous Revolutions on WVIA (Pa., USA)

Very proud of writing partner and friend, Marcus Colasurdo, who appeared on WVIA, a local NPR station in Pennsylvania, to talk about our new collaborative poetry chapbook, Simultaneous Revolutions (PM Press 2021). It came out this month.

The host, Erika Funke, hosted the chat with a deliciously silky voice, and insight that tickles the noggin.

Marcus Colasurdo; May 12 2021 by WVIA Public Media (Click to Listen)

Loving the Library! (2021)

During the pandemic, my family kept using the library.  In Maryland, after libraries shut down with the state’s declaration of an emergency, they re-opened for curbside pick-up and online ordering. 

We wore masks.  We stood in line. It didn’t take too long.  Of course, it was no costume party. 

Books, CDs, and DVDs, bring information, stories, inspiration, laughter, from everywhere in the world into two humble hands.  The library is a form of dialogue in a way.  It offers messages in a bottle as well as broadcasts to the world.  These vessels of human imagination know no borders, and very few borders have ever quarantined the ideas in a book.

This past year, my family revisited Hayao Miyzaki’s animated epic films, including the amazing Spirted Away, Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa (anime), all of which deal with relationships and the environment. 

Right now, I’m reading The Ancient Near East World, an illustrated history by Amanda H. Podany (Oxford University Press 2005), and learning about life in ancient Mesopotamia, courtesy of the local library.  As the poet Emily Dickinson said, “There is no frigate like a book.”

I also read and recommend Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death, and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes, about Neanderthal hunter-gathers who lived in Europe and the Middle East from 300,000 B.C. to 40,000 B.C. or so.  I also picked up C. G. Jung’s Modern Man in Search of a Soul, my first dive into that famous psychologist-philosopher.  I recently enjoyed this excellent documentary about the U.S. 1950s-1960s folk scene and movement, and featuring Bob Dylan’s rise through it: Bob Dylan: The Greenwich Villages Years (ISBN 8-23564-54819-7). 

There is so much at the library.  How wealthy we are as a community and people with these shared, cherished available resources.