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Arthur Erbe’s Continuum illustrates the ways time affects our lives. The poems explore how each month, day, moment and memory shapes how we think about the passing of the hours. Recalling past moments links what we recall with how we think about events that happened years ago. Poems in this collection explore how certain months evoke incidents, how specific days record an event, how time passes during one day. The content of the poems follows specific forms. Some poems are long and slim; other follow a thought process in a looser pattern, and others find their own form, following the meaning of the experience recorded. In the poem “One Second,” the speaker says, “time makes no difference here/today and yesterday are the same/Yet I travel here with chosen words/arranged to recreate a place.”

The “place” is created by the poet with the words that describe a continuum from his early life to the present to memories of special places such as Yeats’ gravestone in Sligo, Ireland and the Odeon Café in Zurich, Switzerland. The journey through time evokes feelings of delight, discovery, loneliness, regret, and dream-like situations. Although most of the poems explore the real world, there are occasions when the poems contain elements of surrealism. However, reading about the journey gives a sense of a life lived, of introspective desires and how we cannot escape from time.

Arthur Erbe has been involved with the writing and reading of poetry for most of his career, first as a high school teacher, then as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a masters and doctorate in literature and writing. At the University of Pittsburgh, he taught a poetry course in the Honors College for 15 years. His interest in writing poetry has been a life-long activity which has been expanded through workshops at Kenyon College, Gettysburg College, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Antioch College and the W. B. Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, Ireland.

For the past ten years he has directed a poetry writing workshop at the Carnegie Library in Oakmont. He has a love of classical music, painting, going to concerts and museums and enjoys playing the piano. For ten years he has been the director of the discussion group of Anton Chekhov’s stories that meets monthly. In addition, he is a member of the Swiss-American Society and an officer of the Swiss Nationality Room at the University of Pittsburgh. He lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with his wife, Anne and their two cats, Fellini and Beau Jangles, who are wise and devoted.

This is the 240th publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 978-0-922558-46-9. 140 pp., 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published May 2019. $14.95.


Version 1.0 Updated May 17, 2020

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