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Animal Psalms - Poems by Alfred Nicol

By Alfred Nicol

Alfred Nicol’s Animal Psalms starts off at the baseball field’s prepared uncertainties, and maintains on many a trajectory of animal ruminations—with the human species good accounted for—ending within the imbalance of the standard “Nuts” round us. the topics contain the elephant, snake, sheep, skunk, bee, couple dynamics, the pains and triumphs of the ruler or the everyman. this can be a assortment wealthy in aphorisms at the vibrant and shady spectra of our interactions. Recognizable soliloquies with the meditative self or dialogues with the liked are unraveled for prepared insights at the human condition—deconstructing them till the connecting or knotty threads are uncovered. Nicol supplies us a mature selection of quiet mirrored image, with wit and knowledge deployed via finely crafted poems of masterful formal dexterity.


Dear reader, I’ve fallen in love with this booklet, and that may ensue to you too. learn, for example, the final poem, “Nuts,” and skim the nice “How to disregard an Invisible Man,” and you’re hooked eternally. learn all of the relaxation, those poems by way of Alfred Nicol that have our numbers, and feature his personal too, that inform approximately our lives, and his, and the lives of snakes, and bees, and elephants, with such humor, and pity, and compliment, for we all, human and animal, in our occasions. It’s most unlikely to not fall in love.
  —David Ferry, writer of misunderstanding, winner of the nationwide e-book Award

As the identify Animal Psalms indicates, there's reverence here—a reverence that derives much less from faith than from a spiritual cognizance to the issues of the area, from baseball video games to zoo elephants to the newly loved. Nicol is a melodic author, known as first to the song of phrases, to “speech that we could the sound/ hold the better a part of what's said.” He’s additionally a poet whose pictures you won’t quickly overlook. They summon the genuine international and concurrently render it otherworldly.
 While the poems supply moments of ecstatic break out, they’re extra frequently held in payment through an Augustan wit, ironic humor and a slightly of Baudelaire. Poise and wit be triumphant in those psalms; they provide us either depression inflected via gentle and illumination held speedy by way of darkness.
  —Erica Funkhouser, writer of Earthly

If we'd basically make an effort to allow one among Alfred Nicol’s poems sink in in the course of the terrific latticed grid of its formal external, how the reality of what he has to assert in regards to the human may hit us the way in which a line force whips towards you on a dreamy summer’s afternoon, startling you again into the electrical now. i like those poems simply because they evoke for me the zany, religious strength of the Beats welded as just a workman can paintings unwieldy issues to the tempered grid of six centuries of formalism. Don’t be stunned if—after interpreting those poems—you locate them turning again to their actual topic, pricey reader, which seems to be none except you.
  —Paul Mariani, writer of Epitaphs for the Journey


Alfred Nicol’s booklet of poetry, Elegy for everybody, received the 1st Anita Dorn Memorial Prize. He bought the Richard Wilbur Award for wintry weather gentle. He has written lyrics in French and English for 9 unique compositions by way of classical/flamenco guitarist John Tavano. Their CD, the delicate Thread, has acquired airplay on WMBR’s software French Toast. Nicol’s poems have seemed in Poetry, The Hopkins assessment, darkish Horse, First issues, the recent England evaluate, Commonweal, The Formalist, and different literary journals, in addition to in modern Poetry of recent England and different anthologies.
 Animal Psalms was once a finalist for the 2015 capable Muse booklet Award.

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