The title of this collection of poems employs the word mourning in a manner that expands the strict definition of the word and crosses the ordinary boundaries of the senses, where color, time, and place are triggers to memory and experience. The reader will be taken on an odyssey including sixteenth-century England, the ancient hills of Spain, a Renoir painting in Ft. Worth, a precarious cliffside inn on California's Highway One, a rare-book library in the heart of Houston, a high-school gym in Georgia, an East Texas pine forest, and the violet crowned hills of Austin. The forays collected in this volume always return to Texas, most notably Austin, where the power of childhood memories shed light on the author's life experiences during the pivotal periods of the sixties and seventies. Examples include poems chronicling the day of the University of Texas tower sniper tragedy and the award winning poem "Night Hawk," recording the time that the poet ran face to chest into LBJ in a popular restaurant, a poem, like the writer's collection, recapturing unique and complicated times with irony, wit, and joyful mourning.
"I read Dave Parsons's poetry with delight. He has a high intelligence and a ready wit which make his poems unlike those of anyone who writes like him, at least in this language. It gives me joy to see this book." --Robert Phillips
"'I long for the old days of clarity,' says David Parsons in one poem, and the elegiac tone--for parents, relations, friends, and places--is everywhere present in The Color of Mourning. Yet this is not to call his book downbeat; Parsons's Whitmanesque inclusiveness harbors for good or bad and brings with it many moments of undiluted joy. I can't think of having recently read an opening poem as gripping as 'It's Not About Remembering,' and the momentum it created kept me going to discover those unsettling closing lines: 'now and again finding / that I have been living with great confidence / a life based on false premises.'" --R. S. Gwynn