Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death

Cover of Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death

Winner of the 1994 Anhinga Prize for Poetry, Selected by Joy Harjo

These poems make an extended song, sometimes a wail, sometimes a hymn of quiet thanksgiving. We need this ceremony for reconciliation of our fragile and violent humanity with the divine impulse of beauty.
— Joy Harjo

Frank Gaspar's beautifully wrought poems in this exquisite book surge with the heat of human desire fueled by the luminosity of a transient grace. These are extraordinary poems —precise, musically complex, darkly radiant, and startlingly wise. Their power accrues exponentially, as Gaspar's lamentations, half-spoken prayers, and songs of the flesh and spirit collide and merge into a seamless quest for an affirmation of existence, wherein each of us must "walk so tenuously among the tenuous living." — Maurya Simon

The poems in Frank Gaspar's new book are stories of desire and the memory of desire, the longing for a full life and the nostalgia for that time when it seemed that "everything led someplace." They are the soul's record of judgement, grace, and obedience, and deserve our gratitude. — Mark Jarman


Poems from Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death


Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death,  Frank X. Gaspar   (Anhinga Press) 1st edition, February 1995 (70 pp.) ISBN 978-0938078388

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