In a series of poems, He Will Laugh traces the intense love between two young men. From the excitement of their first meeting to the aftermath of a tragic suicide, the speaker searches for grace and understanding amid his grief and the wealth of memory that remains....
|Title||:||He Will Laugh|
|Number of Pages||:||82 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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He Will Laugh Reviews
He Will Laugh by Douglas Ray begins with the end. After reading that first gripping poem I dare anyone not to keep reading, as it is almost immediately apparent that this little book is more than a poetry collection, it is a contemporary story of love found and lost written in prose.In the aftermath of his lover Issac's suicide the narrator takes the reader through a journey. From that first meeting to its tragic conclusion, through prose, Ray is relentless in wringing out emotion from the reader. He does so magnificently by conveying grief, the devastation of loss, sensuality, joy, frustration, and finally bittersweet understanding and closure.This 82 page collection is divided into three sections, Now, Then and Time Unredeemable. Each section is introduced by a poem that sets the tone for that particular section. A hunting, sorrowful poem that in the end also brings closure, "November 8" serves as the perfect introduction to the first section, Now.Now recounts the present events and the grief and loss that the narrator experiences after his young lover dies. "Salo" is one of the most gripping poems in this section, as the narrator recalls Isaac's appreciation for Pasolini's film Salò and begins by describing the scene at the end of the film and ends the poem by describing Isaac's suicide and the narrator's regrets. However, from "Get that in Writing," to "How We Grieve," and from "Still" to "You say, There's nothing special about 20", [...Call me Hadrian. Antinous, his lover, died at 20, and Hadrian deified him a daemon of arts, like Pan and Bacchus...], the poetry in this first section makes a deep, strong impact on the reader. Then begins with a poem that says it all with its title, "Find the Precedent in Childhood." This section addresses the past, the joy of that first meeting, the sensuality, passion and yearning of a lover, as well as the frustrations that came with the long term relationship between the narrator and young, troubled Isaac. Some of my favorite poems are found in this section, as our narrator goes from sublime happiness to depths of despair as the relationship's reaches its inevitable conclusion.In Time Unredeemable the poet ends with one single poem that captures the present, the past and the "what ifs," or all those possibilities that will never be realized, "Chaconne for Neuroses." And yet, at this time, at the end, I returned to the beginning and ended my reading experience with the first poem, "November 8." I kept coming back to that one poem, possibly because I find it to be such a complete piece.One of the most interesting aspects of Ray's prose in He Will Laugh is that it is both distinctly contemporary and yet it manages to convey the rather timeless flavor found in works by poets throughout the ages. He uses musical and religious allegations, Greek and Roman historical figures, and often cites the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca, while mixing popular figures like John Waters and other cinematographic figures and classic films in his poetry. His prose is lyrical and prosaic, contemporary and classic, quite an arresting combination. Certainly the timeless yearning, joy and grief that comes of love found and lost are well rendered.The outcome is that I cried and grieved with this lover who lost, felt his immense joy at finding love, as well as his anger and frustration, and yes... fell a little in love with Isaac too. He Will Laugh is a magnificent debut by Douglas Ray and this poetry collection with it's particularly poignant and relevant view of the contemporary gay man's experience is a must read. Highly recommended.A-Original review with excerpts from poems at Impressions of a Reader
The cover is very pretty.I don't want to be too harsh, because He Will Laugh does strike me as a work of some honesty. If it's a tribute to a real lost lover, that's a beautiful thing, beyond criticism. But I didn't enjoy it.
http://triquarterly.org/reviews/pair-...Don’t be deceived by this debut collection’s eye-catching cover of prismatic rainbows and floral shapes or its title; He Will Laugh by Douglas Ray is no laughing matter. The collection delineates a somber and passionate romance between two men, beginning at the end of the relationship, when one of the partners commits suicide. The opening poem, an eloquent elegy titled “November 8” after a Roman festival for the gods of Hades, sets the tone:Harvest fruits were offered them.You are their fruit, Isaac, having anointed yourselfby plucking your breath, this world’s offeringfor the shades.The following three sections of the book (“Now,” “Then,” and “Time Unredeemable”) recount the relationship. In “Now” the speaker sifts through the aftermath of the suicide, employing various forms, including free verse, tercets with lines short and long, and prose poems. In the first poem of the section, “Get That in Writing,” the speaker scrolls through an online newspaper, constantly refreshing the page until he finds his ex-lover’s obituary. He is stricken by grief with a cynical bite: “Funeral arrangements have yet to be made. No picture, just ads flashing at all sides of the screen—hot young singles, first five minutes free. ”“Then” reminisces about the couple’s romance from beginning to end. This section contains a fractured crown of sonnets in a range of styles that embody the lovers’ desires and raw passions in a traditionally romantic form. Here the reader is greeted with an unexpected casual frankness, such as is seen in the volta of “Upon Return, a Routine”:I’ll fuck you like a tramp because I knowyou fancy yourself a trashy, high-dolla’ ho.The last section of the book, “Time Unredeemable,” is one long, four-page poem that is Proustian in theme, although its title is antithetical to Proust’s Time Regained. But the score reminds Gouldlike God or conscience, he must play on, begin again—aria da capo al fine.If only we could begin again. You could raise yourself . . ..He rescues his poems from blatant and unfounded sentiment, as illustrated in lines like these from “You say, I’ll talk to you later, dear”:Then nothing but the bright silence and the camellias outside inbloomed gem tones—tourmaline, pearl, padparascha sapphirearrayed against emerald leaves, onyx shadow. Fuck the heart:distance makes the dick grow harder.This debut collection is impressive in its assortment of conventional and contemporary poetic forms, its universal subject matter, and its range of references. Readers will find ancient Rome, biblical Jacob, John Waters, Bach, Barbara Streisand, and much more woven into the narrative of these well-crafted and moving poems.
A completely gorgeous rendering of loss and regret.
Enjoyed this work of related poetry. The narrative is very lyrical and musical, written mostly in sonnet format. Tragic and depressing--it was a good time.