Publisher: Gothic Press
The Flayed Man is a collection of dark verse.
“To scare is a slim purpose in poetry,” wrote Winfield Townley Scott. And to scare is not the aim in this collection of poems by Phillip A. Ellis. The pleasures that it offers, after all, are those of all good poetry, speculative or otherwise. Enter the world of The Flayed Man, and let Phillip’s poetic vision seduce you with his unique and poetic world view.
Phillip A. Ellis is an Australian poet, critic and scholar, and he is currently studying Honours in English. He hopes to make his reputation as a poet, and in the field of Australian studies.
84 pp. $8.00
Order direct from the publisher, Gary William Crawford, at Gothic Press, 2272 Quail Oak, Baton Rouge, LA 70808-9023, U.S.A. Make checks in U.S. dollars to Gary W. Crawford. Postpaid in North America; add $6.00 overseas. Payment is also accepted by PayPal.com at gothicpt12.aol.com. Also available from Amazon.com and The Genre Mall.
The Testament of a Grand Sinner
I have lived in the night when the demons all roam,
and have made in the middle of evil my home,
I have roamed with both witches and ghouls in the night
and have supped with the Devil beneath the moonlight.
Book Review: The Flayed Man and Other Poems by Phillip A. Ellis
In his newest book, The Flayed Man and Other Poems, available on Gothic Press, Philip A. Ellis seems to be of two write from two distinct voices.
The first, more dominant voice, prefers longer, formal lines, favoring iambic pentameter, as well a formal poetry in general. Many of the poems in this book are sonnets, with the the center piece being "Deep In the Darkness," a seven part sonnet crown. Among the other more formal poems are ballads ("Deep In The Midnight" and "The Assignation") as well as poems of rhymed quatrains and sestets.
This voice has clearly gone to school on 18th century literature. As the name of the press implies, these poems are inspired by Gothic literature, perhaps even pre-Romantic Graveyard Poets. The themes and tropes are similar: the supernatural, ghosts, graveyards, the afterlife, curses, devils, demons, madness, darkness, etc. The inquisitive reader should not cast the book off, though, as simply genre poetry. Though formal, and oft adjective heavy, the poems of this voice are well written. They are not intended to scare or induce fear, but haunt the reader.
The other voice in this book is much more modern. Its poems are less formal, its lines shorter, and images more crisp. It is less interested in classical tropes and presents more image centered pieces, such as the titular "The Flayed Man," "Sleep's Moth," and my personal favorite of the collection, "Cherry Blossom Girl":
Cherry Blossom Girl
How I remember
the cherry blossoms as they fell
over her upturned face,
her crimson lipstick
almost as deep in hue
as the thick carpet of her blood.
The Flayed Man and Other Poems is a genre collection, but one that is well crafted. For fans of Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Percy, and other poetry of the 18th and early 19th century, this collection is a must. For the rest, the chill of autumn is nearly upon us and winter sure to follow. This is the perfect book to read by candlelight on some long, cold evening and invite a wayward ghost inside to warm himself by your dreams.
(Cleveland Poetics (http://clevelandpoetics.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-review-flayed-man-and-other-poems.html)
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