Songs to Come for the Salamander; Selected Poems 2013-2021: selected & introduced by Thomas Fink has just been co-published by Sandy Press & Meritage Press.
Songs to Come for the Salamander; Selected Poems 2013-2021:
selected & introduced by Thomas Fink
Sandy Press & Meritage Press, 2021
Available through Amazon
Chosen by Thomas Fink from the 29 books of text poetry by Mark Young published since 2013, Songs to Come for the Salamander is a companion piece to the 2008 Pelican Dreaming, also selected & edited by Thomas Fink, & the 600-page 2013 The Codicils, which Young describes as nine books in one. It again highlights the variety, sly humor, & concern for social & political issues that the author is internationally known for. Many of his regular tropes — “A line from . . .,” “Today the Postwo/man,” & geographies are included, but they are only a small part of this delightful sampling from the 2500 or so poems from Young that have appeared in the nine years this selection covers.
“Some readers might assume that particular, highly pessimistic generalizations in Young’s poems are actually Mark Young presenting his sense of doom. The little ditty “democracy” registers the claim that “no-one// knows the/ words to” the “song” (the concept of democracy) even though “every-/ one sings” it, and “since violence is learned” tells us that “tolerance is no/ longer available, is replaced by trauma.” Although nothing in the poems—not even such affirmations of aesthetic transport as “Constant Craving,” which speaks of music “that acts as/ axis to steady everything around”—makes one identify the poet as a bright-eyed optimist, various moments in the work display too much respect for the complexity of cause and effect, limitations of human perception, the transience of trends, and sudden appearances of the unexpected to place sustained credence in large generalizations and foregone conclusions.”
— from the Introduction by Thomas Fink.