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In honor of the winter solstice, 2 poems from The Book of the Dead Man

December 20, 2013 by Reader's Connection

The Book of the Dead ManSaturday, December 21st will be the shortest day in 2013. The sun will stop moving southward, pause and start moving north. Or that’s the way it looks to us, circling the sun on our tilted planet. This season of long nights gives many people the blues.

Does The Book of the Dead Man sound like uplifting Yuletide poetry? No? Hey, I live on a street that carolers never visit. I’ve been trying for fifteen years to learn an E-Z piano version of “Deck the Halls.” I find my inspiration where I can.

And about Marvin Bell’s book, poet Norman Dubie has written, “This powerfully new and healing work by Bell is not, of course, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but for me, The Book of the Dead Man is a cultural work of the West that must rival the Bardo Thodol for vision, beauty, and importance.”

“About the Dead Man’s Speech” and “More About the Dead Man’s Speech,” from Marvin Bell’s The Book of the Dead Man, published 1994 by Copper Canyon Press. Reprinted by permission. Sorry about my small print. It will start getting bigger after 12:11 p.m. on Saturday.

 

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