Donald Lev’s poems herein belie the title of this book. There is a deep sadness, which permeates through these poems, and the wit and humor the poet commands make it worse. Even Lev’s cover portrait, painted in airy pastels, complete with an everyman’s baseball cap, only accentuate his pondering, animal-wary eyes and a mouth lost to grief.
The Titanic is a very funny poem indeed. Its humor, however, portrays poetry’s heart of darkness. The scene is utter chaos, the ship lists to one side, and the poet’s love has been swept overboard. The enthralled poet goes on to record,
The lifeboats have all been let loose
and the crew is maintaining order
by shooting the more panicked
among the remaining passengers.
so you see why I cannot write this just now;
till I have a chance to recollect it in tranquility.
Note that he cannot write right now, but he would if he could. Poetry doesn’t always go hand in hand with compassion I’ve noticed and apparently so has Lev.
For more of my review of A Very Funny Fellow go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2012/04/very-funny-fellow-by-donald-lev-nyq.html