The poems in Ed Madden's second book, Prodigal: Variations, explore relations between men-fathers, sons, brothers, lovers-as well as questions of home and exile, memory and loss, and the promises and compromises of any return. In poems that are at once both mythic and deeply personal, Madden asks how we define home, what rituals and relationships sustain us in a world shaped by loss. Consistently reimagining and reinterpreting the biblical stories of his youth, the speaker tries to imagine a new identity and new relationships. If the lover offers a different sustaining relationship, the consolations and beauty of the natural world remain a constant in these poems, an ambiguous Eden in which the story may be different, but the human needs remain the same. This book of exile and longing imagines not a return to the old home, but arrival at a true home. It's less a coming of age collection, more a blossoming, a negotiation of a dangerous new world in which we have to reconcile with-without relenting to-the past.
- Dewey Decimal: 811
- Physical Description: 6.0"x9.0"x0.2"; 0.1 lb; 86 pages
- Edition Info: Paperback; 2011-03-31
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