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Body Odes, Praise Songs, Oddities, Amazements
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A spry collection of poems reflecting on art, the aging body, and the experiences of a lifetime.
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An exuberant collection celebrating the body and the soul of language, wringing delights and amazements out of the latter years of life.

In his seventh decade and seventh full length collection, poet James P. Lenfestey dazzles with a suite of odes to parts of the body—heart, belly, ankle, teeth, ears, and more—and astonishment at the powers of language: “the sound of ‘n,’” our ancient alphabet, “the terror of publishing.” Known for his exuberant Chinese-style lyrics, now inspired by Neruda’s cascading Elemental Odes, Lenfestey praises Hewlett and Packard, Bruce Springsteen, “the language of crow,” fruit flies, and cabbages while recalling the “forgiveness of the Catbird” and random acts of kindness, all with his superb ear for sound, rhythm, and leaping figurative language.

Rhythmic, jovial, and eminently approachable, this collection embraces the Cetacean mind and the fearless left hand. Here, Lenfesty writes love songs to the world “as it really is: bizarro, curious, inelegant, unclean, / unfaithful, filled with delight.”

aging; masculinity; the body; odes; Pablo Neruda; death; memory; ars poetica; long poems
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8.5 × 5.5 × 0.25 in
7 oz

James P. Lenfestey

James P. Lenfestey is the author of Seeking the Cave: A Pilgrimage to Cold Mountain, a Minnesota Book Award finalist, and multiple collections of essays and poems, including A Marriage Book. He is chair of the Literary Witnesses poetry series, teaches at the Mackinac Island Poetry Festival, and lives in Minneapolis with his wife.