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Ship of Fool
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Ship of Fool

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This book consists primarily of poems about a character based on the fool archetype, which appears not only in silents and standups (e.g. Keaton, Pryor, Woody Allen) but also in tales running back to the beginning of storytelling. To borrow from Yiddish comedy, he is a combination of schlemiel and schlimazel. The difference is that the schlemiel is a bungler who's always a ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Red Hen Press
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I've been waiting for a collection like this to be published for over two years now, since I first heard William Trowbridge read one of his Fool poems. It hit me in a way that few poems do, mixing insight with compassion and humor as well as gallows humor and submission to the meekness of human existence, and I had to read more. I went to someone I trusted to be familiar with Trowbridge's body of work only to find out that Bill had not yet collected those particular poems. Well, now he has and I ...more
I don't read much poetry, but if Trowbridge wrote all the poetry in the world, I would probably take more time to read it.

This book is fantastic, full of humor and heartache and heavenly meditations. There are few things that can make you laugh and break your heart moments later. Art that can do this is of the highest order, and Trowbridge is a part of the most highest order of orders.

Read this, even if you aren't into poetry. It just might change your feelings towards the form.
If you haven't read the poems of William Trowbridge, you are missing out on a special treat. This collection of persona poems features Fool in assorted situations. This is book that offers humor, philosophic thought, and a delightful trip through the literary and pop culture world. Anyone could love these poems. And if you haven't checked out other books by William Trowbridge, they are all little pleasures you should not miss.
Christopher Cook
Ship of Fool is a really interesting book, a three-part compilation of poems that primarily focus on a character known only as Fool, representing the archetypal fool, often times tying him to God and Christianity. Many of the poems are very funny, as they are ironic and/or have humorous punchlines, but I am modest and am willing to admit that because of the difficult language used in some of the poems, I feel like a lot of the humor went over my head, and I couldn't catch it no matter how many t ...more
The concept was a little off putting for me, but there were some very good poems in section two.
I read this collection again with a new understanding of the serial comic idea, it was like reading the poems with a new set of eyes. The "Fool" as the comedian, God as the straight man. I like so many I can't list all of them, School Lessons still rates high, and Fool Noir gets a laugh.
Red Hen Press
This wonderful book of persona poems shows Trowbridge at the height of his talents. In this collection of poems about Fool, the reader will laugh and then pause because there is much more than meets the eye. Each poem is rich and complex. This collection is for anyone that likes poetry that offers layers of meaning, a little humor mixed in with philosophic musings.
Emily Meeks
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William Trowbridge holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an M. A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. In April, 2012, he was appointed to a two-year term as Poet Laureate of Missouri.

His poetry publications include six full collections: Put This On, Please (Red Hen Press, 2014), Ship of Fool (Red Hen Press, 2011), The Complete Book of Kon
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