About the Dead

About the Dead

poems by Travis Mossotti
foreword by Garrison Keillor
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 69
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt4cgk59
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  • Book Info
    About the Dead
    Book Description:

    Travis Mossotti writes with humor, gravity, and humility about subjects grounded in a world of grit, where the quiet mortality of working folk is weighed. To Mossotti, the love of a bricklayer for his wife is as complex and simple as life itself: "ask him to put into words what that sinking is, / that shudder in his chest, as he notices / the wrinkles gathering at the corners of her mouth." But not a whiff of sentiment enters these poems, for Mossotti has little patience for ideas of the noble or for sympathetic portraits of hard-used saints. His vision is clear, as clear as the memory of how scarecrows in the rearview, "each of them, stuffed / into a body they didn't choose, resembled / your own plight." His poetry embraces unsanctimonious life with all its wonder, its levity, and clumsiness. About the Dead is an accomplished collection by a writer in control of a wide range of experience, and it speaks to the heart of any reader willing to catch his "drift, and ride it like the billowed / end of some cockamamie parachute all the way / back to the soft, dysfunctional, waiting earth."

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-828-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Garrison Keillor

    Judging the May Swenson Poetry Competition is a fine way to make yourself a hundred enemies—poets who cut off a slice of their heart and handed it to you in an envelope and you looked at it, nodded, turned away—but that’s just how life is and that’s why we guard our hearts. May Swenson guarded hers. She wrote beautiful descriptive poems about bronco riding, the Museum of Modern Art, and the A train (the same train that Duke Ellington took), but she was guarded about her fleeing Utah for New York City, and she had her reasons.

    I...

  4. DECAMPMENT
    (pp. 1-6)
  5. ONE Country of Forgotten Language
  6. TWO About the Dead
  7. THREE As Broken in the End
  8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. 68-69)
  9. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 70-70)
  10. THE MAY SWENSON POETRY AWARD
    (pp. 71-74)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 75-75)