Revelation: Love and Death by David Lott (Animan). Available NOW!
Posted by Insertponceyfrenchnamehere on Wed, 24 May 2023
I am very pleased to announce the publication of Revelation: love and death, a poetry collection by David Lott who writes on ABCTales as Animan:
Varied and lucid, the poems in this series depict a
history, a journey. They begin with a portrayal of
innocence, marked by a desire to please others
and by a limited ability to understand and
evaluate experience. Then, in part 2, they present
moments of essentials and permanents, to serve
as a foundation for judgement and assessment in
the final part. In the final part, the poems explore
the worlds of imagination and reality in the
ongoing effort to develop the spirit of the self
whilst also charting the loss of innocence and of
uncertainty. In the course of this journey, there’s a
twist or two that you might not expect.
You can order from Amazon here:
Revelation: Love and Death by David Lott
A review by Ewan
David is a long-time member of ABCTales, whom you may know as Animan. Those of you who do know David’s work will recognise his dense, layered style and his frequently playful use of language. Each poem in this collection deserves close and contemplative reading.
The three parts each gel well as a whole, with disparate poems following the general themes that all good poetry must deal with; loss, memory and regret.
Part one, Bits of time,
The poems in part one sum up beautifully the disjointed nature of memory, how snapshots and vignettes encourage us to believe our version of the past, though there may be so many more versions that others remember. The very first poem Paralysis sets out David’s stall very clearly; showing us our inability to react to great loss, and its equivalence to our paralysis in the face of both horror and beauty. The juxtaposition of a visit to a concentration camp in Poland and one to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is striking, indeed.
There is no fear of the simple, either. Gifts is, on the face of it, as simple a poem as is in this collection. However, I found it resonant with meanings that drew me back to it again, and again.
Sometimes the simple things we see really are all complicated.
Often dismissed as mere trickery, concrete poems are difficult to do well, Spaces challenged this reader not to attempt reading it out loud. Try it yourself, and you will see how good it is.
funeral words is just beautiful. The words to say are often borrowed from others, this poem should be as omnipresent as those damned clocks.
just once, let us rise in the morning
and enjoy the light
and know that that bird in the mist
is returning to the sun.
Evoking sense of place and time is one of the poet’s particular gifts. florentine debate is a beautiful vignette of a parent and daughter on a trip abroad.
'This is rock like skin or skin
‘And what can you do with that?’ she said,
‘Take one thing and make it like another –
the craft of the impossible,’ I said.
part two: Outside time
abstract with feeling made me think of Hilda af Klint’s work “The Dove” and that is no bad thing.
As the introduction to this collection notes, part 2 deals with moments where the essential and permanent are glimpsed.
Death in the office provides us with the wonderful image of Death taking a holiday, hitching a ride on an Alitalia jet. One supposes we all wonder how we will meet death, and I liked the mundanity of this meeting.
meeting himself might – or might not – be an account of meeting a doppelgänger but it does contain this wonderful couplet
it wasn’t meeting someone you knew or had once known;
it was the silent-eyed recognition between strangers.
the weaver of myths has a myth weaved in and out of the poem by the poet himself. The final declaration that the writer is “a weaver of myths”, is, of course, every poet’s answer to the question ‘Is it true?’
part three: In and out of time
Particularly pleasing in this whole collection is the way in which some poems hark back – or presage – poems in the other parts. I’m thinking particularly of eye in part three and meeting himself in part two.
My own favourite in the whole collection is Beatore – you may have others, there are so many excellent poems to choose from – for me this poem is poetry as escape, drab London is transformed to Italy by Beatore herself’s presence.
‘She mustered all her English’
is a wonderful line.
‘Miss’ is as sad and moving a poem as I have read for a long time, all the more so as it is quite devoid of sentiment.
Often the imagery is of stark and arresting quality as in Bird Ascending’s comparison of a voice to a cathedral window.
The overheard café conversation of apart from 8, rings as true as things that end up in a writer’s notebook by chance so often do. I’m sure I’m not alone in enjoying this particular excerpt:
by two, who of course, like so much of
born-again Utopia, had found the light
and needed to 'best-seller' it to you. And I
read of all the 'snares' – from 1 to 9.
Violentia is a visceral and clear-eyed examination of domestic violence as I have ever read. It seemed to describe the euphemistic “agitation” of dementia patients to me. Though disturbing, it demands to be read.
early morning conversation - february is a fine poem that finishes on an elegiac note.
I'm the one that comes after - after the reaper. I check the stubble,
I see the sheaves of feeling are in place,
I am the swell that brings no fear,
I am the tear.
Part Three is the meatiest of the three sections, as it should be, given what the poet’s stated intentions are. Every poem in the whole collection is of value, of course, but from part three I should single out the Song of Songs and v.2.3, soundings, for their ambition, vanity of disdain for it’s chutzpah, and finally, when does hatred come for asking a question we should ask ourselves more often.
I leave you with the final words of this thought-provoking and individual collection, from when does hatred come, a statement of acceptance that may stop the cycle of hate and despair.
each revenge, acknowledged and known,
but not sent, sent on