A Crazy Man Thinks He’s Ernest in Paris: Meditations on a Brother
Nominated for the 2011 Archibald Lampman Award
In her third collection, Terry Ann Carter responds to the tragic story of her schizophrenic brother. A Crazy Man Thinks He’s Ernest in Paris is a foray into the world of “voices”, mathematics, hospitals, and art. With sketches of McLean’s Mental Hospital, America’s premier mental hospital, which sheltered John Nash, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Lowell among others – and her mother’s domestic life in the fifties, Carter charts a collision course of events that begins to shed light on, and makes peace with, the mystery of her brother’s disappearance. Dream sequences of Paris in the 1920s and Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos reveal a mastery of style and evocation.
“In this haunting cello suite of poems, Terry Ann Carter searchers for the lost bones of her brother, imagines him in Paris, buying bread and wine. She imagines the secret lake of his mind, this lost mad angel. Is he waiting under a plastic poncho somewhere? This crazy man, her lost brother. She searches for him in these poems. We weep.”
-Wendy Morton, poet and recipient of the 2010 Spirit Bear Award and the Golden Beret Award
"...Carter's eloquent lyrics, poignant vignettes, and insightful inventories of codes, calculations, and treatments help us slip into the skin of the mentally ill - her brother, Lowell, Nash, Pound - as they clutch at reality, struggling to define and quantify. She imagines them, introspective, marginalized, wandering Luxembourg gardens or the halls of McLean's Mental Hospital, boxing, inventing board games, checking out the Oscars..."
-Sylvia Adams, Canadian bookseller
Black Moss Press | 2010 | 5.5 x 6.25 inches | 72 pp | 978-0-88753-475-1| $15.95
#20 in the palm poets series
Out of print