Growing up in my native land, November 2 and 3 are marked with going to church and praying for the dead. This is the time cemeteries are filled with people, flowers, chairs and tents. Despite the solemn occasion, there is a festive air as family members gather bringing candles and food. On the downside, you can imagine the horrible traffic, trash and the noise during the weekend.
I sometimes wonder what the dead have to say?
Marvin Bell is an American poet who in 1994, published what some reviewers regard as his most radical work, The Book of the Dead Man. This initially consists of a sequence of thirty-three poems on various facets of life, narrated by the anonymous title character.
Stan Sanvel Rubin wrote in Prairie Schooner that Bell has fashioned in this work “a dazzling linguistic Chinese box, at once alluring and elusive, which shows up for once and for all (maybe) the emptiness of ‘Language Poetry’ and, in fact, much recent experimental and postmodern writing.”Bruce Murphy averred in Poetry that “Bell is really out there—trying to invent a new kind of poetry, something like an epic with only one character.”