The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade 
  "...I had come to know that the undertaking that my father did had less to do with what was done to the dead and more to do with what the living did about the fact of life that people died," Thomas Lynch muses in his preface to The Undertaking. The same could be said for Lynch's book: ostensibly about death and its attendant rituals, The Undertaking is in the end about life. In each case, he writes, it is the one that gives meaning to the other. A funeral director in Milford, Michigan, Lynch is that strangest of hyphenates, a poet-undertaker, but according to Lynch, all poets share his occupation, "looking for meaning and voices in life and love and death." review 
Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Mortality 
  All poets who take their jobs seriously spend a good deal of their time pondering death. Few, though, have logged as many hours as Thomas Lynch, who for 25 years has been a funeral director in Milford, Michigan. As might be expected from a writer who performs "daily stations with the local lately dead," Lynch's second essay collection, Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Mortality, has a lot to say about both the current state of his industry and the attitude Americans have toward death. Of course, this leads to our inability to properly understand life. And we become one of those stunned mumblers whom the author has spent a lifetime consoling and selling caskets to at Lynch & Sons. review
Still Life in Milford: Poems 
  Still Life in Milford is--perhaps unsurprisingly--haunted by death. Its author, after all, is that most celebrated of poet-undertakers, Thomas Lynch of Milford, Michigan. Evidently poetry and undertaking are felicitous occupations for one obsessed with the larger questions, and Lynch finds abundant material in the vacant eyes of corpses, in the pages of small-town obituaries, even in the autopsy notes from Dr. Kevorkian's patients. Yet throughout, Lynch maintains a sturdy, undertaker's stoicism in the face of the cruelest ironies death has to offer. After all, he has "certain duties here. Notably, / when folks get horizontal, breathless, still: / life in Milford ends. They call. I send a car." review 
Copyright 2000 Mark Thomas Co. All Rights Reserved.
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