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Resurrection of a Sunflower Paperback – May 9, 2017
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anyone who likes van Gogh and also for anyone who like to read some of today's best indie writers.
Resurrection of a Sunflower is an ambitious collection of writing in response to Vincent van Gogh. Although many of the poems are ekphrastic, written after specific paintings, there is also a great deal of writing in response to van Gogh’s life. There is a wide variety of style and voice, including many persona poems written in van Gogh’s voice, poems written directly to van Gogh, poems about members of van Gogh’s family and social circle.
Due to the enormity of the collection (510 pages), I cannot possibly distill a review into a few significant quotes. The book is organized by writer. One of the things I’ve been enjoying is going through and tabbing all of the poems about the same painting, then reading them as a group. Here’s a brief example:
His stare says
it doesn’t matter why
he did it.
Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Kerry Trautman)
When the deed was done
I could no longer hear my art
(Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Neil Ellman)
As I page through Resurrection again and again, I keep finding lines and stanzas that jump out and grab me.
There against a cobalt sky
I learned of piety
(The Church at Auvers, Neil Ellman)
Their shelf life would be longer,
and we’d always be sure
when we reached the end.
(If Lovers Were Books, Clint Margrave)
The sky is a glum color
of battered reality
(Absinthe O’Blue, Victor Clevenger)
McDaris and Pietrzykowski have done an amazing job collating Resurrection. Front and back covers are stunning. Permit me to edit my opening disclaimer: I am proud to have a poem in this anthology.