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Poetry

Memento Mori

poems

Charles Coe

A meditation on mortality, change, and loss, by turns somber, thoughtful, and humorous.

Memento Mori observes our human condition through a poetic kaleidoscope, with glimpses of irony and humor that offer a refreshing contrast to the more difficult moments. Coe is a storyteller who writes with compassion, insight and a razor-sharp eye for detail.

In one of his terrific poems about jazz musicians, Charles Coe writes: “the notes that poured from/his guitar and throat weren’t dazzling,/but they were true—water from/some well we couldn’t find on a map.” He could be talking about the unassuming honesty and directness of his own poems, their wisdom, humor, and generosity. —Lloyd Schwartz, poet and music writer. (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism)

The poems in Charles Coe's Memento Mori are suffused with grief and tenderness. A poet of the city, in poem after poem he shows us, via an empathy reminiscent of Whitman or William Carlos Williams, the pathos and poignancy of the ordinary. Here is a poet inclined toward goodness and decency, devoid of cynicism yet nobody's fool. Reading these poems we are left more open, perhaps more willing to brave the possibility that the world might in fact be more heartbreaking, absurd, challenging, promising, and even joyful than we let ourselves believe. — Richard Hoffman, author of Noon until Night

“This book does what art is supposed to do. . . . An immensely satisfying collection.”—Andre Dubus III

“Coe’s book will outlive much of the poetry being written today.” —E. Ethelbert Miller

“A unique conversational but powerful voice. . . . Direct, honest. We hear and believe.”—Marge Piercy

Memento Mori • Charles Coe

86 pages • ISBN 978-1-948585-02-6 • Trade paperback, $15.00 • April 2019

Published by Leapfrog Press LLC • www.leapfrogpress.com

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution • www.cbsd.com

Memento Mori cover.

 

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