The Body's Vest

Casting the body’s vest aside,

My soul into the boughs does glide.

—Andrew Marvell (1621-78),

“The Garden”

Browsing through the poetry section at Borders, I came upon a sole copy of a new book of poems by Fred Chappell, Shadow Box.  I have been an admirer of Chappell’s fiction for years, especially his novel I Am One of You Forever (1987), with its delightful, poignant, and sometimes hilarious reminiscences of a boyhood in the western mountains of North Carolina.  I was aware of his poetry, too, although I had never delved seriously into it.  The first thing I read, opening the volume at random, was this:

Buried in logic, what can you find,

Shackled to flesh, what can you see

About the madcap world beyond.

Of time’s wild timeless mystery?

The poem is a “Duologue” between “Spirit” and “Mind,” with the former’s argument indicated in italics, and the latter’s in regular print.  Thus, this was a single poem consisting of two poems, one encased or embedded in the other.

Here, beyond question, is a milestone...

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