Quercus Review Press

publishing poetry with a pulse since 2000

Late Father & Other Poems by Taylor Mali


FALL POETRY BOOK AWARDlate father promo

“Not since Taylor Mali, has there been a poet of the likes of Taylor Mali–which is to say he is a man of unique properties. He is tagged as a performance poet, but his performances, rather than being frontal assaults, are leavened by charm and wit and survive happily on the page.” –Billy Collins

Parenthood and partnership dwell in Taylor Mali’s poems in addition to a “tender gloom” that comes from having lost a father years before finally becoming one, a late father. Mali’s signature playful eloquence and poignant observations are still at work here, but in these poems, Mali tells us, “all the smallest parts of me . . . can let down their tiny burdens all at once” (“My Sister Asks if She Can See More Grey”), and a wiser, more magnanimous voice emerges, a father’s voice, gently offering up a new invocation:

O, lightning, if you’re listening, disregard

my former invocations. And rain, please bless

my simple little poems; they’re plenty hard

to write, and the world needs them no less.

Let my family if not my other works outlive me.

And to those who have survived the storm, forgive me.

(from “Sonnet on My Former Invocations”)

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This entry was posted on January 10, 2019 by and tagged , , .


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