Mars Being Red

Marvin Bell, Author Mars Being RedMarvin Bell

In his 19th collection, Bell warns, “I am up late in wartime,” seeing “war's imprint with all of us who now/ die of the earth.” As grimly demotic as ever—but perhaps increasingly attuned to current events—Bell (Rampant ) continues to display his familiar virtues: his poems project a consistent voice, direct, laconic, and unsusceptible to illusion. He is also, now, “old, terribly aware that I am now old,” and interested in the poetry of old age, when “Each person gets worse/ in her own way.” The ongoing sequence The Book of the Dead Man (on which Bell has worked for over a decade) continues with its sad invocations and flat free verse, one sentence per line. What sets the new poems apart from those of the 1990s also brings them close to some poets of the 1960s: they speak out directly, angrily and almost despairingly against the current administration and the war in Iraq. There are “too many body bags to bury in the mind.” Unlike many poets of protest, though, Bell ties his antiwar sentiment to an awareness that, even in peacetime, we all must die: “We need to think of what might grow in the field/ from our ashes, from the rot of our remains.” (July)

Reviewed on: 05/21/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 80 pages - 978-1-61932-002-4
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