Lion Sun
Author: Pavel Chichikov

This book was sent to me as a gift. It is a work of quality from the glorious cover art work by Eric Young, to the Centaur typeset and lay-out. It is also a book that I think many of you might well learn to treasure as I do. The poetry itself is deeply spiritual and deeply natural. These are Songs already illuminated, touching, and always unbudding some new aspect, some new delight, some new wisdom, some exquisitely human and endearing trait. In fact this is poetry that feeds a whole human being, and comes from the real world, and a real life, and a real journey. It is also technically superb. This is language that anyone might use and everyone understand, rarely limpid, and uniquely suggestive. It is also a book not easy to snatch a quote from. Every poem seems to deserve to stand 'whole' and undamaged. As I pick it up yet again - to choose some example from this faithful, witty and delightful collection I find that somehow I have spend an hour, an hour simply delighted, moved, and transported. The writing is deeply Christian. Perhaps one is reminded of Blake, in something like .. 'Artefacts', the imagery is a fierce and dramatic as 'Tiger Tiger' but the thought is not so bluntly wrought, neither is the contrast, and the meaning is quite different, 

"A tortoise is the bolus of the forge 
 A lump of iron cooling on a lawn
 Cold the private iron of its gorge
 Flakes of iron falling when it yawns. 

 Sapiens a chimera of parts 
 Swine the stomach, fox the clever heart
 Angel brain, the pity of the shark 
 A dog's compassion howling in the dark".

Where to turn when every page is without price "Corpus" (If God gives, I will assume a name/Floating in a sea, my mother's womb/If God gives, crawl up and sigh/Slime of heaven's heart/) or "Golgotha's Mary" (Not alone to shepherds or in caves/No burning cherub or Creator's slave/But one of us, Mater Creatoris) - the book may speak of a cat or a cormorant, God hearing confessions in an empty church (Ouch!) a vision in a meadow, or a memory of betrayal, it is intimate without being private, a spider exegetes the law, and "Black Dung" (Satan's blackdung/Is money. Hell is fungible)

This book is a treasury, and one which miser-like I wish to dwell in and finger daily, but one which I am impelled to share. As always, with work I really like, I have the impulse to read bits aloud, point out yet another page, another detail, read another page, dwell in it, live with it. This is great poetry.

[Lest you think I'm a little bit carried away here, Thomas Howard, professor of English at St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts says, "One finds oneself struck, bidden, haunted, daunted--what else?--by the diction, rhythm, imagery, and allusions. . . . but one feels that glory and mystery are lurking in every line (e.g., "Pouring the Moon," "Crossroad"--well, all of them). ]

Poetry by Pavel Chichikov is shortly to appear in Scribble on the Net. Keep an eye out !


Lion Sun
Author: Pavel Chichikov
ISBN 0-9671901-9-X
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 99-90616

Barnes and Nobel $12.50 U.S. (ships within 24 hours) $12.95(U.S)