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Bestiary Paperback – April 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Can a book so attached to death be filled with so much life?  The answer is yes and Bestiary proves it!   It is focused also on form and light and wonder; a fine song of praise to living things.  All praise to this brave poet and these brave poems!

---Lucille Clifton

 



With Bestiary Elise Paschen comes into her own strength as a poet, taking on the two great subjects of lyric poetry, love and death. This volume beautifully contains its opposites:  it is at once the story of a young couple building their family and the story of a daughter losing her parents, as well as a more mythic undertaking, a tale of the animals who symbolize our psyches and seem to foreshadow events in our human lives.  One feels Paschen’s Osage roots in these poems where she makes the deepest emotions palpable through her stunning craft.  In Bestiary Elise Paschen creates a world at once recognizable and strange, lyrical and fierce, gentle and bold. 

 

---Molly Peacock



Elise Paschen’s themes are human and essential: love and gestation and birth, the decline of parents in old age -- and in her skilled hands, these matters seem far from ordinary.   Often her poems engage us with stories, some taken from myth -- Leda beset by Zeus in swan’s clothing, a mad Irish princess tamed by a harp player.  Others seem drawn from experience, whether actual or imaginary: a woman thrown to the ground by a whirlwind, a family rescuing a fallen nestling, an aged and afflicted mother recalling her youth as a dancer in Venice, a daughter transporting a father’s ashes through airport security.  Here are powerful lines, gracefully woven into whole poems, positioned to last.  Certain of them will haunt you.  Read the lovely and mysterious “Monarch,” first poem in the book, and right away you’ll see what I mean.

 

 

--X. J. Kennedy

About the Author

Elise Paschen is the author of three poetry collections: Infidelities (Story Line), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, Houses: Coasts (Sycamore Press, Oxford), and, most recently, Bestiary (Red Hen Press).  She is editor of Poetry Speaks to Children and co-editor of Poetry Speaks Expanded (Sourcebooks) and Poetry in Motion (Norton). Paschen teaches in the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597091316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597091312
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,341,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alane Rollings on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
In her marvelous second book, Bestiary, Elise Paschen extends her reach and establishes her vault. The book begins with what seems a direct and very compelling narrative line. Then, unexpectedly, this straightforward narrative turns out to be more of a skyrocket heading upward to burst into enlarging flowers of complexity ad surprise. The book as a whole offers a gorgeous lesson in life as surprise. The individual poems which build upon each other to create the thrill are wonderfully taut and resonant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Poetry lover on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Elise Paschen's poems are exquisite; many moved me to tears. Who knew that poetry could be so satisfying? A beautiful volume unto itself, but one should also own Infidelities.
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