The Crossed-Out Swastika (Paperback)
Copper Canyon Press, 9781556593796, 83pp.
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
"Cassells is a passionate poet whose poems touch the core of human connection through which can flow union with the infinite. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
Cyrus Cassells' fifth book commemorates the blazing integrity of young people caught in the vise of World War II. In its journey through the "anti-miracle" of Europe's embattled past, The Crossed-Out Swastika follows the lives of historical and semi-fictional characters to unearth and amplify moments of almost impossible music, bravery, beauty, and redemption, illuminating the human spirit against unspeakable tyranny.
Poet, from cellar to cellar, I remember
I held onto, of all things,
a picture book about a magical goat,
inscribed by my witty father:
This storybook belongs
to Mademoiselle Sabine
the way Paris once belonged
to Marie Antoinette--
Somehow having that book
helped me to endure . . .
Cyrus Cassells grew up in the Mojave Desert. He graduated from Stanford University and has worked as a translator, film critic, and actor; he currently teaches poetry in the MFA program at Texas State University-San Marcos. He lives in Austin, Texas.