New And Selected Poems
In Monet’s Eyes, Jim Levy has used assumed voices merged with his own to create a baroque world of love and death, joy and sorrow.
In the first section, Artists, we learn about Handel’s barge as it trails the King’s up the Thames, Elizabeth Bishop’s addiction to art and booze, Hart Crane’s leap off the back of a ship, Rilke’s nine weeks in Spain, Robert Johnson’s blues, and Wallace Steven’s rhetoric.
In the section called Travels, we ride a bus in rural Mexico, a wooden ferry across Mombasa bay, a trip on the fastest train in France. We spend an afternoon in a café in Rabat and another afternoon in a plazuela in Guanajuato.
In Voices, we hear from a 13th century poet in Toledo and a 1st century poet in Cadiz, Linda Ronstadt at the clothes line, Crèvecoeur discussing his bees, Diogenes of Oenoanda explaining Epicureanism, and a holy man teaching Gnosticism in the marshes of southern Iraq.
A fantastic brew of voices, worlds, and moods combine for a vision that is uniquely Levy’s. Monet’s Eyes is a singular achievement.