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today can take your breath away: poems: Volume 1 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions)

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9780692055137: today can take your breath away: poems: Volume 1 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions)
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Marc Swan writes, "For me the election of 2016 was a turning point. I never imagined the world could become what it has—it takes my breath away. The book started with political poems then expanded into reflections on the day-to-day: the good, the not-so-good, hopes, fears, uncertainties we now call contemporary life."

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Review:

Marc Swan’s poems breathe into the solar plexus of experience and release us into the tangible world of parents in phases of dementia; immigrants in Trumpian times; and protest marches—reflections of eras and places as the red world crashes on the shores of the blue. In a poem that personifies so many Marc finds a rusted out Matchbox Dodge Charger, “tires lost to the sea/body faded to gray/a hemi-head fashioned to the hood—/the remnants we carry” All the while Marc steers a steady course through these tightly written portraits of our times. -- Mary Elizabeth Gillilan, Editor-in-Chief, Clover, A Literary Rag

Marc Swan’s latest collection celebrates gifts of life in its many forms: conversation over dinner with friends, daily walks on a beach, Being in all its natural glory.  In this he is like Ray Carver, a poet he references in a discussion with an older woman that ends in silence and confusion. Loved ones grow old, get Alzheimer’s, and are visited in nursing homes. The process of life slowly integrates, much is lost along the way  but the celebration of life continues: today can take your breath away. -- Alan Catlin poet and editor of Misfit Magazine

In this new collection Marc Swan continues to create his own special type of poetry, one that is conversational, steadfast but never predictable. With deft maturity his acute observations on aging, coupled with a quietly stated anger on the social tensions of America today, reveal a uniquely astute voice. These are poems that care from a master of his craft. -- Les Robinson, tall-lighthouse Press

Amazon reviews:

Marc Swan does it yet again. His book of poems had me enthralled the entire way through. His keen viewpoint, compelling images and sensitivity are evident throughout. He captures the moment and the world around him with a unique style. From restaurants in Maine to living rooms in Ventura, he joins in and carefully observes the people and places. I highly recommend this book!

Marc Swan has taken William Carlos William's dictum of using everyday language to heart. He gives us poems of his, and our, daily life; with insight, careful thought, and dedicated, powerful language. Marc takes us way back, to President Kennedy's death in 1963, and to more recent tragedies. Marc writes from both political and personal perspectives. We get to travel with him from Maine to California, from moments of grief, to times of joy. Marc Swan is a wonderful storyteller poet. He pays attention, and has paid attention all along, with his keen mind, and with his dynamic poems that talk of journeys, of life and loss, and, most importantly, he gives us poems that speak of the soul. Read this book and travel along. It's a great ride.

Marc Swan sees the people around him as they are, imperfect with their lumps, bruises, foibles and disappointments but also as courageous beings willing to persevere. His poetic visions are unfiltered reminders of how simple it is to fail in our uphill struggles as time relentlessly passes by, but also, ironically, how easy it is to love and show one another some kindness.

 

About the Author:

Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor. His poems have found an international audience with work published in the small press throughout the US, in Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand. Tall-lighthouse Press in London, England published his last two collections: In a Distinct Minor Key (2007) andSimple Distraction (2009). He lives with his wife Dd in Portland Maine.

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