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God & Other Poems
Maryrose Carroll, editor (anthology)
Paul Carroll made an indelible mark on modern American Poetry and literature by fearlessly publishing the magazine Big Table. In this, Carroll's last book of his own poetry, God and Other Poems, Final Poems, he searches for the nature of self, of life, of death, of God. Knowing that he had less than a year to live, these poems reflect grace, courage, humor and emotional tranquility. Paul Carroll had an inherent understanding of the world he viewed from the top of George's Gap in the mountains of Western North Carolina even though he had lived most of his life in Chicago. In “Untitled”, he writes, “I want to write a poem the birds will understand / and the snakes and stones / the trees with their / secrets and green faces”. The poems flow like narrative, and are astonishing for their insight, humor and wisdom. Written in the face of death, Carroll’s poems are a radiant argument for life. In the poem, “Song” this: “I’ve learned to suffocate death / and continue doing so all day”. With these poems, Paul Carroll has in fact provided his own eulogy. –Earl LeClaire