In EVEN ON PARNASSUS, his third collection of verse, Lawrence Cottrell picks his way along life’s marches with the deftness of one used to walking knife edges, each step a delicious cleave of soul, the poetic witness by a man unable to avert his gaze from potters’ shards or starlit pasts breaking on strands of self. These rhymes are, succinctly, a lyrical pilgrimage along and through the sun and shade of wild countries of the ineffable, sighs painted by a cosmos come upon itself within a looking glass, time cobbled by a marrow ‘to asylums of iambic.
"The most rare thing in poetry is a distinct voice, which is something Lawrence Cottrell has in spades. In EVEN ON PARNASSUS, the reader is treated to a linguistic journey, from ancient to medieval to rural American influences. This collection is a superb exploration of the effects of time, the emotional realization of mortality. Cottrell expertly ties his themes of loss, temporal regret, and spiritual concerns together by celebrating eons with the blended language of reclaimed vocabulary, personal experience, and memory (which is, 'this farthing of a vanished age'). When the Immortal Muses fly from Mount Parnassus to Appalachia, they visit this poet who both mocks and rues the passage of every lost moment . . ." —David B. Prather
Doubtless his biography appeared (to him) as a tale in progress, like some right whale breaching a sea, neither of which was there a moment earlier. I guess there was a world antedating his keeping of pieces of it. The extant photographs of neonate and toddler seem to confirm that theory, so there are a few earliest years of his life about which he knows nothing. And, truthfully, this mind's like a net made to catch cetaceans only, entire schools of, say, krill would have left scant impression. So, here's to that first recollection, some jot of time which didn't get away wholly. He the sum of it and others, save for the singular way he beat along the wind. Like canvas to a blow, one pouts uniquely, like his fellows but not quite so, things known and felt according to the topographical camberings and concavities of "I." Of this irreducible arrangement of neurons what's to be said, save that a kind of flesh thinks and imagines, has, oddly enough, an incipient emotive perspective, into which experience must or ought fit. One is godlet and helot, sings of paradises lost off-key. But . . . all you need to know of him is that he make poems nowadays. Recollect that if you please, since in an hour or an age he shan't.