126 pages: $16.00 — April, 2015
Mark Statman’s new book of poems explores the singularly multiple worlds in which he, and all of us, love and observe, work and dream. On the edges of the intersections between metaphysical and physical spaces, the urban and rural, the reader finds, in That Train Again, a sense of language and form both precise and mysterious.
Praise for That Train Again and Mark Statman
…an admirably light touch illuminates the seriousness behind the poems…
The poems are lyrical, deft, quietly smart, and admirably quotidian.
From dead flowers to suddenly blue starlings, from possibly green herons to lions that will not sleep tonight, Mark Statman’s new volume bursts with the abundance of the natural world, laced by the estranging light of the imagination. The bursts of lyric ecstasy are so unforced, proceed from such a brimming-over of natural admiration, that to read this book is to skip across a field, alighting always on pebbles of joy. That is Statman’s most celebratory, most accessible book.
–Nicholas Bims (Amazon Review)
Although the poems in Mark Statman’s lovely That Train Again break down into sections and titles, you could almost read this book as a long, sweet poetic day of meditation; earth, sky, birds, wind, wife, love, and the ways they attach to the poet, and through him, to us. A good book of poetry will urge us not to miss the fine details. Here is music to slow the pulse and re-tune the ear to what’s important.
Mark Statman’s spare, candid poems speak of the ways a person moves “from gold/ into blue.” That Train Againdetails our daily translation of “world/ into world.”
What emerges for the reader/listener is the experience of one (the poet) experiencing the world—encountering, engaging with, and trying to understand its complexity. That Train Again stands firmly in the present tense (though with forays to the past via memory), joyfully so. The title is perfect—That Train Again—emphasizing the momentariness of existence, its eternal return, and its reliance on hope. I love this book.
It’s very rare to watch the birth of a new style. It’s like watching through a new set of Proust’s kaleidoscopes. Mark Statman has been working for years on a vision of himself and parts of the city—concentrated and bare as any poetry. It’s hard to compare it to anything.
(Mark Statman’s) voice brings together historical awareness with mindful surrender for the present moment (that sometimes calls back memories from psyche’s depths). Mark Statman’s lines are maps of the wind that carry us into wonder and love.
Sung through a register of gentle if unrelenting consciousness on the part of the poet that the present is always inexhaustibly on the move, Statman’s spare, concise, searching poems channel notations of experience through the visual and aural senses.
Statman’s voice is a kind of spare lyricism that reminds me of the ancient Greek poets of the Anthology or the concise voicings of Antonio Machado.
Statman’s legit. And honest. He doesn’t try to impress with literary tricks and sleight of hand. Just good, solid poetry that keeps getting better.
Statman gives us language as commitment, commitment as imagination, imagination as soul-making.
Mark Statman delivers the tourist’s wonder and distance in spare, deliberate music—American poetry’s grand plain style descended from William Carlos Williams to James Schuyler. Statman is a head-on poet willing to risk clarity in pursuit of the marvelous we might encounter anywhere.