Monks' Fruit

Monks' Fruit

A.J. Levin
$14.95


In his debut poetry collection, A.J. Levin presents a world in which the past overlays our modern existence, where classical allusions and philosophical observation are married to slapstick humour and carnival: Plato is a blues singer, Tantalus is a prospector in BC, and Descartes wanders around a Montreal amusement park. Monks' Fruit is above all a work of faith. Redemption lies in humour, imagination, curiosity and knowledge, though not in organized religion: Lazarus is reborn through his love, even extinct species have a second life when we remember them, but a parking lot is death itself.

Levin guides us not just through time but through place-a cramped Istanbul apartment, brown Mexican fields, noisy Toronto restaurants, and through England, Brazil, the American South. And everywhere is a "place filled with the poem / of human architecture," a land made real by the ability to love and remember.
 
"Monks' Fruit revels in language, syntax, and allusion. This crab-wise approach gets thrown in the pot along with a genuine sorrow at circumstance, and weariness with the intellect's downgraded predicament; what's boiling over in this debut is a humane love, and a love for humane acts, appropriate to our culturally frightened Present. Some of Levin's poems have a cubist's mania about them that can only lend itself to fresh insight."
--Ken Babstock
"[a] divine poetry collection ... Monks' Fruit is as irreverent and shining as its cover ... the poems have a maturity that comes only from patience and hard work ... He keeps his subject matter grounded with stellar lines ... Levin has a wry raw humor, with hints of Charles Simic ... Levin's priests are a drunken joy, his verses constrained as corsetry, his outcomes full of earthly bombast held together with tiny glimpses of heaven. Monks' Fruit is faithful to all it sets out to be, (i.e. a keeper)."
-Emily Schultz, Broken Pencil
"The poems are cleverly allusive and are worth their
weight in chuckles. At the same time, you can see that
it isn't all tongue-in-cheek, that there are issues of
faith at stake... [A] good variety of colour and texture... You feel that the poet is always winking and
conniving: 'what next thing can I say that you weren't
expecting?' One appreciates that."
-Jeffery Donaldson, University of Toronto Quarterly
"Polished, elegant, and honed to a thrilling exactitude, the various strengths of Monks' Fruit lie, to identify but a few, in its evocative command of the exploded landscape of the heart, in its willingness to take worthy risks, and in the way it leaves readers hungry for more. What a talent!" -Judith Fitzgerald
"...this is a book of lil' gems, and more important, unexpected turns. It is like a conversation with a person who is in a hurry and needs to get the facts to you. Some people try and explain things to you. Levin talks you. It's worth the listen."
-John Stiles, How Yah Doon?
"Not only does this enchanting collection of poems defy expectations and adventurously experiment with stanza forms and syntax, but it knows how to be funny, too."
-Heather Fawcett, The Peak
"Levin often stumbles into joy and his surprise delights both him and his reader."
-Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix


Junction
ISBN: 9780889712027
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8.0 in - 88 pp
Publication Date: 20040323
BISAC Subject(s):: POE011000-POETRY / Canadian / General,POE000000-POETRY / General 
:

Description


In his debut poetry collection, A.J. Levin presents a world in which the past overlays our modern existence, where classical allusions and philosophical observation are married to slapstick humour and carnival: Plato is a blues singer, Tantalus is a prospector in BC, and Descartes wanders around a Montreal amusement park. Monks' Fruit is above all a work of faith. Redemption lies in humour, imagination, curiosity and knowledge, though not in organized religion: Lazarus is reborn through his love, even extinct species have a second life when we remember them, but a parking lot is death itself.

Levin guides us not just through time but through place-a cramped Istanbul apartment, brown Mexican fields, noisy Toronto restaurants, and through England, Brazil, the American South. And everywhere is a "place filled with the poem / of human architecture," a land made real by the ability to love and remember.
 
"Monks' Fruit revels in language, syntax, and allusion. This crab-wise approach gets thrown in the pot along with a genuine sorrow at circumstance, and weariness with the intellect's downgraded predicament; what's boiling over in this debut is a humane love, and a love for humane acts, appropriate to our culturally frightened Present. Some of Levin's poems have a cubist's mania about them that can only lend itself to fresh insight."
--Ken Babstock
"[a] divine poetry collection ... Monks' Fruit is as irreverent and shining as its cover ... the poems have a maturity that comes only from patience and hard work ... He keeps his subject matter grounded with stellar lines ... Levin has a wry raw humor, with hints of Charles Simic ... Levin's priests are a drunken joy, his verses constrained as corsetry, his outcomes full of earthly bombast held together with tiny glimpses of heaven. Monks' Fruit is faithful to all it sets out to be, (i.e. a keeper)."
-Emily Schultz, Broken Pencil
"The poems are cleverly allusive and are worth their
weight in chuckles. At the same time, you can see that
it isn't all tongue-in-cheek, that there are issues of
faith at stake... [A] good variety of colour and texture... You feel that the poet is always winking and
conniving: 'what next thing can I say that you weren't
expecting?' One appreciates that."
-Jeffery Donaldson, University of Toronto Quarterly
"Polished, elegant, and honed to a thrilling exactitude, the various strengths of Monks' Fruit lie, to identify but a few, in its evocative command of the exploded landscape of the heart, in its willingness to take worthy risks, and in the way it leaves readers hungry for more. What a talent!" -Judith Fitzgerald
"...this is a book of lil' gems, and more important, unexpected turns. It is like a conversation with a person who is in a hurry and needs to get the facts to you. Some people try and explain things to you. Levin talks you. It's worth the listen."
-John Stiles, How Yah Doon?
"Not only does this enchanting collection of poems defy expectations and adventurously experiment with stanza forms and syntax, but it knows how to be funny, too."
-Heather Fawcett, The Peak
"Levin often stumbles into joy and his surprise delights both him and his reader."
-Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix

Details


Junction
ISBN: 9780889712027
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8.0 in - 88 pp
Publication Date: 20040323
BISAC Subject(s):: POE011000-POETRY / Canadian / General,POE000000-POETRY / General 
: