- Kind: Perfectbound
- Pages: 80
- Language: English
- Date Published: June, 2023
- ISBN 978-1-953252-80-7
In an age of distraction, the poems collected in Shieling require us to stop, to ponder the loveliness in the worn, the second-hand, and the world-weary. They nod to the passing of time and our temporality, rewarding us with a beauty found in unexpected places and within the vestiges of nature, where the daisies just might tell you secrets. —Renée K. Nicholson
Anyone who glimpses into the shape-shifting, wispy world of Lawrence Cottrell’s Shieling, spins through mankind’s pasts and futures, following in the wake of the poet’s word-flourishes on triumphant tiptoes. In these deepened drifts one can easily forget the prosaic and pedestrian present and nestle with glee behind a lover’s eyes or the memory of a kiss. Cottrell pens his original and oracular verse like no other. His numinous music portages transfixed, contemporary readers across a forbidden and forested and phantom land to a river of rushing consonants and delightful vowels. Cottrell’s Shieling reverberates outward. A book beyond enchanting. —Dennis Daly
CONSTITUTIO DELENDA EST
…the ashes of [our] fathers, and the temples of [our] gods
dowdy hymns for wit’s cathedral.
Meliorists pant at altars of perfection, despise fractious
Would sire anew a Vendémaire, selves reenter Eden, sin
Soughed as might black racer molt in autumn, syllogisms
lords bestrid the ticks of clocks…
Who fling into the universe what fools are told by sibyls,
vague prescience’ of deliverance,
That cannot bear fissured chalice’ for the wine, confess
that waves all rift ’to seas,
each play’s seven acts in fortune’s company…
Promised lands like fireflies winking, wraiths in jars that
like notes of swifts that pass away —
Doubtless my biography appeared (to me) as a tale in progress, like some right whale breaching a sea, neither of which was there a moment earlier. I guess there was a world antedating my keeping of pieces of it. The extant photographs of neonate and toddler me seem to confirm that theory, so there are a few earliest years of my life about which I know nothing. And, truthfully, this mind’s like a net made to catch cetaceans only, entire schools of, say, krill would have left scant impression. So, here’s to that first recollection, some jot of time which didn’t get away wholly. I’m the sum of it and others, save for the singular way I beat along the wind. Like canvas to a blow, one pouts uniquely, like his fellows but not quite so, things known and felt according to the topographical camberings and concavities of “I.” Of this irreducible arrangement of neurons what’s to be said, save that a kind of flesh thinks and imagines, has, oddly enough, an incipient emotive perspective, into which experience must or ought fit. One is godlet and helot, sings of paradises lost off-key.
But I ramble. All you need to know of me is that I make poems nowadays. Recollect that if you please, since in an hour or an age I shan’t.