Poetry

Time Remaining

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.”

ISBN
9781571315748
Publish Date
Pages
128
Dimensions
8.5 × 5.5 × 0.25 in
Weight
7 oz
Author

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.

Praise and Prizes

  • “Not surprisingly, given its subtitle—‘Body Odes, Praise Songs, Oddities, Amazements’—this is a joyful book. What brings joy in these poems is, however, often something unexpected and to be cherished all the more for that reason. What is perhaps most surprising, and most touching, is the melancholy that underlies the joy in some of the book’s most powerful poems. ‘The Forgiveness of the Catbird,’ for example, is filled in equal measure with both love and regret. Time Remaining is the perfect title for a book that says, in every poem, there are so many ways to love the world and be amazed by it: don’t leave any out! There is genuine wisdom in this book, hard won and generous. A book to treasure for its many ways of opening the reader to the world in all its amazements.”

    Jim Moore
    author of Prognosis
  • Time Remaining is a wonder-filled collection, composed with some of Neruda’s spirit as distilled through the meditative, clear language of the ancient Chinese poets for whom James P. Lenfestey has felt long affection and affinity. One of the most open, life-affirming, generous writers you’ll ever encounter.”

    Connie Wanek
    author of Consider the Lilies