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The Dead Spirits at the Piano, Poems by Carol Jennings

In The Dead Spirits at the Piano, Carol Jennings communes with the spirit world—composers, poets, saints, parents, friends, ex lovers, demons, suicides—and traverses a topography of sonatas and symphonies, her mother’s piano, her father’s drugstore, Greek ruins, limits of mind and body, beached whales, bad dreams, alter egos, the younger self, fairy tales, glaciers, solstice and equinox, changing weather, end of life, and a changing world.

Sample Poems by Carol Jennings

“I am haunted by Carol Jennings’ unmatchable ability to write the harmonics of music, language, memory, and emotion. In her debut book, The Dead Spirits at the Piano, a cast of characters from the familial to historical interweave to illuminate the ways art touches life, and how lives touch, entangle, even wrestle, with art. Of the dozens of memorable poems of this collection, there are some truly unforgettable pieces, including the masterful ‘The Color of Voice,’ ‘Sonnet for the Dead,’ ‘Dust Jacket,’ and ‘Elegy for a Poet.’ In ‘The Color of Voice,’ the synaesthetic confluence of taste, sound, and texture remind me of Keats, his sincerity and huge sensitivity and even his struggle to bring influences into the poetry while making it his own. I have followed Jennings’ poetry for some years. I hope that with this book her work will come to be read and appreciated as it fully deserves.”—David Keplinger

“Spirits are supposed to be of the dead, but these form the liveliest crew of only-seemingly-departed composers, lovers, artists, ancestors, dramatis personae. Jennings’ grandmother warned, ‘Be careful whom you love at seventeen, he will have a death grip on your life.’ So Jennings’ changeable seasons teem with lovable and loving ghosts, ancestors, personal demons, suicides, and the keys on her late mother’s grand piano resound with messages that cannot be traced.”—Elisavietta Ritchie

“Carol Jennings’ poems enliven the intellectual aspects of knowing music, history, and the people and world she inhabits while evoking texture and wisdom about the specifics of a life among stories. She writes through the ages with a corporeal instinct about relatives, composers and poets, instrumentalists and doomed souls, communing as if she can feel what they felt, play what they imagined, feel the heat and wind of their times. These are wise poems, taking what she knows and intuits to expand into a voice that explores how we grow and come to know the world through the harmonies we experience.”—Gabriel Welsch

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ISBN-13: 978-1625491794, 140 pages

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Also by Carol Jennings: The Sustain Pedal