A Bell Curve and Other Poems


In A Bell Curve and Other Poems, poet David J. Murray divides 118 short poems into seven separate sections; each section holds a common theme but includes a different number of poems from the other sections. The poems of this collection offer photographs of moments in his mental life, while the collection as a whole uses the bell-curve concept to allow him to stress the unified nature of this poetry collection. The first section, only three poems long, is about children. The second section, nine poems long, is about the author's professional interests in psychology and philosophy. The third, including seventeen poems, is about the arts, especially literature. The fourth section-the middle-includes fifty-eight poems addressed to the person who is the heroine of Murray's previous book, An Artist's Model and Other Poems (2012). Sixteen poems comprise the fifth section on women Murray has met in the past and whose influence on him led him to write about those encounters. The sixth section contains twelve poems about the changing views of Lake Ontario as he sees it every day. The final section includes just three memorial poems, two of which concern his deceased wife's gravesite in Kingston's Cataraqui Cemetery. These numbers-3, 9, 17, 58, 16, 12, 3-resemble, in outline, a sharply peaked bell curve, illustrating roughly how much time Murray spends thinking about each topic at the present stage of his poetic experience. This form offers exploration and a snapshot of his current thoughts on a wide range of subjects.


David J Murray
Paperback | 158 pages
152.4 x 228.6 x 10.16mm | 294.83g
Publication date
21 Oct 2013
Illustrations note
Illustrations, black and white