In this remarkable and formally inventive new poetry collection, Fred Marchant brings us to realms of the intractable and the unacceptable, places where words seem to fail us and yet are all we have. In the process Marchant affirms for poetry a central role in the contemporary moral imagination. As National Book Award winner David Ferry describes,
The poems in this beautiful new book by Fred Marchant are autobiographical, but, as is always the case with his poems, autobiographical of how he has witnessed, with faithfully exact and pitying observation, the sufferings in the lives of other people, for example the heartbreaking series of poems about the fatal mental suffering of his sister, and the poems about other peoples, in Vietnam, in the Middle East, written about with the noble generosity of feeling that has always characterized his work, here more impressively even than before.
Said Not Said is a poet’s taking stock of conscience, his country’s and his own, and of poetry’s ability and inability to speak to what matters most.
Below the Fold
someone in Benghazi with a hose in one hand
uses his free one to wipe down the corpse
water flows over the body and down
a tilted steel tray toward the drain
what washes off washes off
Cover art: Codex, by Peter Sacks, collage, 2015.
The following excerpts are from Peter Sacks’ website:
“Peter Sacks was born in 1950 in South Africa. He lived there for the first half of his life, mostly in the city of Durban, on the Indian Ocean.Sacks studied at Oxford, as well as in the United States, at Princeton and Yale (where he wrote, partly as his thesis, The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats).”
“All through this time, which included the study of art and the history of painting – from the rock-art of Southern Africa to the frescoes of the early Renaissance, from the funerary portraiture of Egypt to the entangled figurative and abstract heritages of Modernism – Sacks also spent years of travel, often times on foot. Walks across various parts of South and North America, Africa, Europe and Asia, comprised much of his development on a formal as well as cultural level.”
“His recent paintings challenge our assumptions of what might or might not be human, whether in ourselves, or in the marks we make upon the spaces we inhabit, construct, deform or save.”
“Peter Sacks divides his time between Sharon, Connecticut and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he teaches at Harvard University.”