Poetry and the concept of Maya

Poetry and the Concept of Maya


SKU: 978-0-9753095-8-2 Category:

Poetry by individual poets


Weight .469 lbs

Trade/General (Adult)


Britt, Alan, Churchill, David B


Perfect Bound

Page Count


Publication Date


1 review for Poetry and the Concept of Maya

  1. Patty Dickson Pieczka

    Review by Patty Dickson Pieczka

    The Concept of Maya is a push-and-pull tango between two interesting mindsets—fanciful and analytical. When Alan Britt writes about plants in his yard, vines grow along his arm and wind down his finger, curving around his pen until they sprout on the page. David Churchill helps us dissect these leaves until every vein bleeds, using the prism of Maya, which reflects the light of poetry with three rays: one to obscure truth, another to project a world of broken forms, and a third that reveals the radiance of full consciousness and shows us the various levels of reality within the poem.

    The poems in Chapter One are chilling in their simplicity and double meanings. On the surface, they appear to depict a suburban backyard, but set during the time of the tower bombings, a rough edge is scorched onto them, as in the poem, “September, 2001”

    . . . a distant white dog
    gnawing the first hour of late afternoon….

    September leans on a split-rail fence
    and watches yellow leaves
    sail by in a swirling gust of ashes.

    In Chapter Two, Churchill reminds us to search out the face of the speaker by finding consistencies from one poem to the next. Nature is a nearly constant theme, but here, Britt branches into poems about love, poetry, music, and delivers more beautiful and thought-provoking imagery as in, “Marrying Myths.”

    I married a myth.
    She drifted away.

    I awoke
    in the throat of a gold mine….

    ….But, tonight, I feel like dreaming
    a new myth,
    one with hips
    of black wine,
    one whose kisses resemble rainbirds
    in shiny long black coats

    strolling like stately gods of pepper
    over St. Croix’s windy white sand
    strewn with bruised yellow
    and green palm fronds….

    Churchill encourages us, in Chapter Three, to experience poetry as a child, seeing everything for the first time. This is never difficult with Britt’s poetry with its imagistic and unique perspectives. Consider his poem, “The Stars.”

    “The Stars”

    The stars are shamans.
    They paint arroyos
    the color
    of Gilas:

    flows through
    the universe’s thin waist,
    three hips

    Chapter Four takes a philosophical turn:

    “Thoreau Says We Must Live Within Two Miles of Our Primary Childhood”

    I sleep.

    Alarm clock’s
    green antlers
    tear holes
    in my significant dream
    as solid as a wild mustang
    of dry Arizona wind.

    Raindrops splatter
    like hollow, red,
    shotgun cartridges.

    Sleet hisses.

    The Context of Maya is the kind of book that alters the mind. David Churchill studies the aerodynamics of Alan Britt as he drifts on his helium flight of unexplored concepts of poetry, swooping close to the ground only long enough to pick a flower that is likely to turn into a swarm of blue butterflies forming words in the clouds.

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