by Soren Stockman
Four Way Books, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-954245-40-2 | Paper: 978-1-954245-31-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3619.T6363E44 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

"A serious young man, / I had trouble saying yes / to the bright, clear days," Soren Stockman's Elephant begins. The poems that follow move through despair, self-destruction, and disassociation to arrive, finally, at that elusive affirmation. Accompanied throughout by the imagined presence of Joseph Merrick, the 20th Century entertainer and medical patient popularly depicted as "The Elephant Man," Stockman's speaker interrogates how storytellers have co-opted Merrick's identity and obscured his voice and inner life. In this projected communion, Stockman tries to encounter the man who was rather than the role molded from his experiences. What does it mean to perform as another? What allows us to love ourselves, and what makes it hard? This debut collection is a path out of loneliness, beyond private absences, to the true self and what it harbors in its heart. Here, at the center of things, we succumb to the succor of existence, given to the light: "What a blessing to love the world / and then finally be born."

See other books on: Death, Grief, Loss | Elephant | Family | Poetry | Subjects & Themes
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