The book examines the relations between the literary and the mortuary arts - the connection between obsequies and prosodies; the effort to give voice to unspeakable things.
The facts of life and death remain the same. We live and die, we love and grieve, we breed and disappear. And between these existential gravities, we search for meaning, save our memories, leave a record for those who will remember us. 'So writes Thomas Lynch in Bodies in Motion and at Rest - the second collection of essays by the award-winning author of The Undertaking. As poet and funeral director, Lynch examines the relations between the literary and the mortuary arts - the connection between obsequies and prosodies; the effort to give voice to unspeakable things: great love, great heartbreak, great wonder, great pain; how icons, metaphors and ritualised speech are engaged in poems and in funerals. The essays assembled here explore a species at the intersection of millennia, beleaguered by choices and changes, encumbered by merger and acquisition, numbed by maths and technologies, in search of the meaning of Life and Time, our lives and times. In an age that seeks to define human experience in retail, high-tech or pop-psyche terms, these wise, exquisite essays explore the distance between birth and death, the condition of the human being and the state of ceasing to be.
Thomas Lynch is the author of a previous collection of essays, The Undertaking, which was shortlisted for the 1997 National Book Award, and two collections of poetry- Grimalkin &Other Poems (1994) and Still Life in Milford (1998). He lives and works in Milford, Michigan, where he is the funeral director, and in West Clare where he keeps an ancestral cottage. i>
'There's nothing like the sight of a dead human being to assist the living in seperating the good days from the bad ones. Of this truth I have some experience'. Thomas Lynch, poet and undertaker, muses on his small-town American life. He is witty and unpretentious company. His accounts of his own heartbreaks and alcoholism are touchingly honest and held in check by the daily realities of his job, making 'Bodies in Motion and at Rest' more than a confessional and less cloying than Garrison Keillor. (Kirkus UK)
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