Ugly Duckling Presse


Alan Felsenthal

Poetry | $15 $11
Spring 2017
Buy"Full of sly music & ancient wisdom & hilarious with timelessness"
Lowly is part invocation, part invitation. The poems in this debut collection consider death, rebirth, and love, while exploring the symbols that make life bearable. Here, ancient mythology and philosophy are examined through contemporary situations, brought forth by a voice that oscillates between humorous and plaintive tones—“I invent stories. Out of other stories. I can only repeat what I have heard. // A scruple is the enemy of a moment.” Lowly is a restorative work with rhythmic lines that will resonate with the reader long after the book is closed.

Excerpt ˇ


from "Past Life Palinode"

...If it ends, our own time, in general
cataclysm; if the reign on the right strives to
be the sun; if no brazen serpent on a rod ever
hisses again. Well, I wanted to be more than
a breathing clock, not the tones of eternity,
the small dance of a worm whose moves
hollow out a hazelnut. So my steps form
dreams for the children I won’t have, to give
to each other. My wife swings on the arc of a
cycloid and my husband, after playing skittles
on a fairy hill of giants, comes home an old man.
It’s night, the trenches are filled with mysterious
friezes of light...

Close ˆ

About the Author

Alan Felsenthal runs a small presse called The Song Cave. With Ben Estes, he edited A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind: The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton. His writing has appeared in BOMBThe Brooklyn RailCritical QuarterlyFence, jubilat, and Harper’s. Lowly is his first collection of poems.

Advance Praise

‘Invite inside the arcane dawn/ Hello.’ Alan Felsenthal’s Lowly is quietly oracular. With feeling and purpose, these poems move through precise intensities of thought to lay bare an integrated sense of a possible world. With such paradoxes and subtleties, we might call Felsenthal a new Metaphysical Poet.—Susan Howe
Lowly is a gem: full of sly music & ancient wisdom & hilarious with timelessness, it makes tough & tender love to all the ages, especially ours. I have read it over & over. —Ariana Reines