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WLT calls No Need of Sympathy a 'lesson in how to read one's life'

noneedofsympathy_bookstore "A love of life mixed with a keen sense of its brevity, a scintillating appreciation that simultaneously sees the skull grinning at the banquet, the fly crawling among the perfect flowers." These are words used by World Literature Today to describe Fleda Brown's new collection No Need of Sympathy. According to reviewer Fred Dings, "Reading a poem by Brown is a lesson in how to read one’s life, how each small thing, each seemingly casual detail, is in fact connected to perceptions and understandings of profound significance that we can all divine if only we calm our vision enough to fully experience the perishing present." The review continues, "The poems are marked by a naturalness of voice without pretension that keeps a balance among opposites such as levity/gravity, micro/macro, informal/formal, and generosity/restraint, and one clearly senses the influence of Buddhist meditation on this poet both in terms of poise and in terms of a vision of the interconnectedness of all things." Any one poem in Fleda Brown’s eighth collection may touch on contemporary science, physics, family, politics, the nature of poetry, and the nature of reality. There are sonnets for all ten grandchildren written by a grandmother, poems about the Big Bang, child labor, the moon over Paris, and tent caterpillars, all written with humility, humor, curiosity, and a deep love of life. "This poetry justifies itself. Time and again, the weave of sight and insight gathers into luminous statements that have a poetic authority, which we recognize immediately as if they are to-be famous quotations we are experiencing for the first time." Click here to read the entire World Literature Today review. To purchase a copy of No Need of Sympathy, visit the BOA Bookstore.
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