All Vows: New & Selected Poems
David B. Axelrod
ISBN 978-8182500822 2016 pp 194
Cover and artwork by Jessica Robinson
All Vows: New & Selected Poems is the most thorough selection from most vibrant contemporary American voice, David B. Axelrod. Result of his forty-plus years as a professional poet, the book is divided almost equally between new work and poems going back to his first book published in 1968. However, the contents are arranged thematically rather than chronologically including poems dealing with family, nature, sports; poems about prejudice and politics; covering a host of topics ranging from the sacred to the profane.
Current Volusia County, Florida, Poet Laureate, Axelrod writes in direct but clever language—more witty than metaphoric. A poem entitled “Sun Worship,” that recounts the warnings of his dermatologist, ends with the lament, “No one can tell me Vitamin D stands for death.”
Celebrated American poet, editor and anthologist, X. J. Kennedy, commenting on a previous Axelrod collection, said, “For all the artfulness of his poems, there is something unliterary about them—that is, they don’t smell of the scholar’s lamp, they seem at times to have turned up in the Lost & Found department of a hotel in Long Island City.”
That easy artfulness is reflected in the comments of Florida’s State Poet Laureate, Peter Meinke: “Many of us have been reading David B. Axelrod’s approachable, wise, and witty poems for decades, so it’s a real treat to have so many of them collected in one book. All Vows deserves a wide and appreciative readership.”
All Vows, with topics from backseat driving to xenophobia, autograph collecting to valentines, is not just an enjoyable read, it is teachable text for poetry, and to make that point, those ordering the book for classroom use can request a free copy of Lessons for All Vows: A Student & Teachers Poetry Guide. The book of new and selected poems has ample samples of a variety of styles, sonnets, haikus, tankas, and poems that serve as prompts for those who write poems of their own. William Stafford, whose own poems were renown for their simple artfulness, described Axelrod’s work as, “Poems to cherish and pass around … a prize to keep.”
HIMALAYAN POET FEATURED IN DAYTONA BEACH
Yuyutsu RD Sharma will be the featured poet on Wednesday, June 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Wine-Me on Beach Street in Daytona Beach. Mr. Sharma, who lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, will read from his two newest books: Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, and A Blizzard in My Bones: New York Poems (Nirala, 2016). He will also discuss the continuing tragedy of the earthquake that devastated Nepal a year ago.
The program is presented by Volusia County Poet Laureate Dr. David B. Axelrod. “Yuyustu’s work is of interest to more than poets. He speaks lovingly of his homeland, but he also describes all our lives.” says Axelrod. “We who have moved from the north to Florida certainly know what it means to have ‘a blizzard in our bones.’”
In addition to teaching at Columbia University and just previously at New York University, Mr. Sharma is a recipient of a fellowship from The Rockefeller Foundation, author of nine poetry collections, and is a frequent performer and workshop teacher throughout the world.
A gifted translator, Yuyutsu’s book of Nepali translations entitled Roaring Recitals; Five Nepali Poets was nominated by the Library of Congress as Best Book of the Year from Asia under the program, “A World of Books 2001: International Perspectives.” His own poetry has been translated into and published in seven languages.
Wine-Me is located at 204 South Beach Street and can be reached at 386-871-7769. For more information about Mr. Sharma and the program, email Dr. Axelrod, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 386-337-4567.