• What Is the City?

What Is the City?

In Print

by Paul Marion



"What is the city but the people?" asks Sicinius in Shakespeare's Coriolanus. In these poems, meet the people in Paul Marion's real and imagined city: Manny and Maria, Jimmy Allen, Dr. Doug, Arthur at the diner, Johnny Depp, Katherine O'Donnell Murphy, Bobby Orr, Uncle Dan, Dith Pran, Memere, Harry Calahan, the Chest-Pants Brothers, Mickie Shannon, Pinky, Jack Kerouac, dancing Mary, George and Thida, Alphonse Hudon, Hollywood's Frances Marion, Arshile Gorky, Bob Dylan, and Our Lady of the Bathtub. That's a start.

Beyond the poems, Marion explores the meaning and uses of poetry in his essay "Pure and Applied Poetry". He writes, "Writing, publishing, and reading poetry with a community in mind can help strenghen a person's sense of belonging to a place and fortify the social glue....In a healthy democratic society people feel a common bond, believe in a shared fate, and act accordingly. Establishing that spirit in the community close at hand is the first step toward nurturing a greater empathy for the global community, whose survival is our ultimate concern."
What People Are Saying
"Paul Marion's are poems of substance...In reading these works I got the same feeling that I would get from Stafford or Snyder..." --Stony Hills

"Marion approaches his poetry more as an historian or anthropologist...[His] poetry has a strong sense of place." --The Boston Globe

About the Author
Paul Marion is the author of several collections of poetry and editor of Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac. He lives in Lowell, Massachusetts, with his family.