Even on Parnassus by Lawrence Cottrell


In Even On Parnassus, his third collection of verse, Lawrence Cottrell picks his way along life’s marches with the deftness of one used to walking knife edges, each step a delicious cleave of soul, the poetic witness by a man unable to avert his gaze from potters’ shards or starlit pasts breaking on strands of self. These rhymes are, succinctly, a lyrical pilgrimage along and through the sun and shade of wild countries of the ineffable, sighs painted by a cosmos come upon itself within a looking glass, time cobbled by a marrow ‘to asylums of iambic.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 72
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: June 2022
  • ISBN 978-1-953252-58-6


Lawrence Cottrell’s Even on Parnassus is a collection of deliciously haunting verse. Each poem lingers like a tone in the air without resolution, like a gift, or perhaps, a sacrifice, perfecting grief, despair, and the rapture of time. —Rebecca Bynum

The most rare thing in poetry is a distinct voice, which is something Lawrence Cottrell has in spades. In Even on Parnassus, the reader is treated to a linguistic journey, from ancient to medieval to rural American influences. This collection is a superb exploration of the effects of time, the emotional realization of mortality. Cottrell expertly ties his themes of loss, temporal regret, and spiritual concerns together by celebrating eons with the blended language of reclaimed vocabulary, personal experience, and memory (which is, “this farthing of a vanished age”). When the Immortal Muses fly from Mount Parnassus to Appalachia, they visit this poet who both mocks and rues the passage of every lost moment with such lines as, “Perhaps today, I, too, will gather time beneath my wings…,” and the “tactless candor of clocks.” These poems are filled with quotable passages, and I am humbled by Cottrell’s proficiency. —David B. Prather



October starts the pitiless sack of summer, when spans of
Days and nights change places, hunts each Dionysian lyric
fierce sobriety…
Save on archipelagos of mind, rara avis washed by scarlet
Lest winter claim sempiternity, and self, trembly in its

be unsure that spring will come…

That sleeping vales will tire of gaunt and grim and gray,
ask of crocuses and phlox,
Sting awake sleeping wasps, seek sombrous joy of nightjar
Be arrant resurrection of a billion undertakings, from When ancient hills were tall and sharp and young, this Pendant world first upon a starfield hung, before the first
Te Deum’s plea was sung —


Lawrence CottrellBorn into a different cultural dispensation, Lawrence Cottrell has said that he feels like eroding tracks left by another age. Tricked up in wit’s metrical silks, it’s that very archaic exotica, his seductive beat of the tympanums of sense and sensibility, he would have you know, a ghostly extravagance of grace lest there be neither ghosts nor graces where drops horizon toward infinity; a once upon a time, some part of aggregate ado become a self, born in blood of woman, a Balthazar, a fool, a man merely, come to see blushing minsters of days, bequeathing to tomorrow’s indifference, on the other side of the bastard title gate into a book, the better angel of his nature, or, if not that, a miscreant seraph who ties iambic knots in fate’s tail.

Additional information

Weight 5 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in