A SHORT BESTIARY OF LOVE AND MADNESS, POEMS THAT GIVE VOICE TO THE ANIMAL IN US ALL
In verse and in prose, George Looney’s fifth book of poetry, A Short Bestiary of Love and Madness, delves into the worlds of birds and mammals, fish and insects, looking for ways to describe and maybe even understand the various madnesses that love brings. In the lives of the beasts we find find much hard evidence of loss and despair, but these fables and parables offer, along the way, absolution and, yes, even salvation, of a sort.
“George Looney’s poetry,” novelist and poet Laura Kasischke writes, “resonates at the level of myth and history, evoking a kind of ancient music alongside the details of our contemporary lives the way weather and the human psyche join to make a dream. This is an important and impressive new collection by one of our most interesting poets.” The poems in this collection create a realm where myth and history come together to form a natural world imbued with meaning, one that allows for the possibility of finding, carved in rock, “a figure that could be divine” (as one of the poems puts it).
In this evocative collection, as “Formed of Burning and Song” puts it, readers will witness a passionate language “etching / the elaborate form of longing in the earth.”