In Lucky Bones, Peter Meinke moves fluidly through free and formal shapes, taking the reader on a tour through America in the 21st century: family, politics, love, war and peace, old age and death are looked at in ways that are surprising, clear, and warm-hearted. Lit by flashes of anger and laughter as he surveys his territory from the vantage point of old age, the poems are, in the end, both sane and profound, set to Meinke’s own music.
Consisting of over sixty new poems, the book begins with a house-shaped poem about a family in a beloved old home, and then moves out into the world with poems about a fire-bug, drive-by shootings, and the often violent human condition before circling back to the home and a final epitaph. A clear-eyed feeling of loss permeates Lucky Bones, but not despair: in the midst of conflict, Meinke’s world is full of wonder, and wonderful people.
There is a little of the Ancient Mariner in the tenacity and urgency with which Peter Meinke addresses his readers. These poems get hold of us by the coat lapels and when they release us we are delighted, shaken, and considerably wiser.
Meinke's wit is sly, as dry as a good martini.
The author's fourteenth book of verse, it further consolidates his reputation among the best and brightest of our country's poets.
Quantifies the passionate nature of interior intensity and hell-bent fervor by . . . eviscerating a chosen set of targets inhabiting this vale of tears that we call life. Many of his poetic commentaries Meinke delivers in formalist verse with a cunny dry wit that both elucidates and cautions.
This is the kind of poetry that does not blush at joy. And, to be frank, the kind of poetry that we all could use more of. . . . 'Lucky Bones' takes a close look at what it means to start growing old, then walks off laughing.
Peter Meinke is emeritus professor of creative writing at Eckerd College. He has published numerous books of poetry, including Scars, Zinc Fingers, Liquid Paper, and The Contracted World: New & More Selected Poems. Meinke is the recipient of many awards, including the Olivet Prize, the Paumanok Award, three Poetry Society of America Awards, the Flannery OÕConnor Award, and two NEA Fellowships. In 2009 he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, Florida.