Ship of Fool

This book consists primarily of poems about a character based on the fool archetype, which appears not only in silents and standups (e.g. Keaton, Pryor, Woody Allen) but also in tales running back to the beginning of storytelling. To borrow from Yiddish comedy, he is a combination of schlemiel and schlimazel. The difference is that the schlemiel is a bungler who’s always accidentally breaking things and spilling stuff on people and the schlimazel is a sad sack who’s always getting his things broken and getting stuff spilled on him. Trowbridge’s Fool is both. He is often treated harshly, which seems to come simply from his being a fool. Most fool figures, though comic, are subjected to a great deal of violence. The very term “slapstick” derives from this.

William Trowbridge ( Author Website )

Publication Date: February 1, 2011

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$18.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-446-7


Ship of Fool reviewed on Ron Slate’s website

David Clewell, Poet Laureate of Missouri, gave an excellent review of William Trowbridge’s newest poetry collection Ship of Fool on Ron Slate’s website, On the Seawall. Focusing on a few of his […]

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Ship of Fool” featured on Verse Daily”

William Trowbridge's Spring 2011 poetry collection Ship of Fool has a featured poem of the day on Verse Daily. To check out the website and see the poem, "Foolproof", click […]


Ship of Fool featured in New Letters Magazine

Gary Dop had this to say about Ship of Fool by William Trowbridge in New Letters Magazine. – “William Trowbridge’s Ship of Fool, through laughs and gaffes, reveals that, like […]

The Hudson Review looks at Ship of Fool

In the sixty-fourth volume of The Hudson Review, Peter Makuck praises William Trowbridge's book, Ship of Fool. "William Trowbridge's Ship of Fool had me laughing out loud . . . […]

William Trowbridge in Tar River Poetry

Ship of … uh, what? This, after pipsqueak predecessors like, say, Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Byron, Twain, and even a financial website called The Motley Fool? Readers love poets who run […]