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Two New Book Reviews
November 06, 2008
|Hello Poets and Poetry Lovers
Busy week. Kids. Cub scouts. Dishes. Chores. Firewood. Work. Work. Work.
But I did manage to post two new poetry book reviews this week. I've got another book read and the review is forthcoming. With any luck, I'll get through my reading list and can start over.
And now ... Hyperbole ...
Table of Contents
New Poetry Book Reviews
Take a look at my book reviews page and you'll see two new books:
Here's a little sneak preview:
Bruce Spang is gay. It shouldn't matter, but it does. It matters because he wants you to know, and he goes to great pains to spell it out for you more than once. The poems in The Knot are personal, revelatory, endearing, and full of human feeling. But they aren't brilliant.
Rebecca Gonzalez is the female counterpart to Neruda. If the Chilean master were alive today he could get in touch with his feminine side by sitting through a reading of Rebecca Gonzalez's 36-poem chapbook Sonata for Rain.
American Life in Poetry: Column 188
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
I really like this poem by Dick Allen, partially for the way he so easily draws us in, with his easygoing, conversational style, but also for noticing what he has noticed, the overlooked accompanist there on the stage, in the shadow of the singer.
I've always worried about you--the man or woman at the piano bench, night after night receiving only such applause as the singer allows: a warm hand please, for my accompanist. At concerts, as I watch your fingers on the keys, and how swiftly, how excellently you turn sheet music pages, track the singer's notes, cover the singer's flaws, I worry about whole lifetimes, most lifetimes lived in the shadows of reflected fame; but then the singer's voice dies and there are just your last piano notes, not resentful at all, carrying us to the end, into those heartfelt cheers that spring up in little patches from a thrilled audience like sudden wildflowers bobbing in a rain of steady clapping. And I'm on my feet, also, clapping and cheering for the singer, yes, but, I think, partially likewise for you half-turned toward us, balanced on your black bench, modest, utterly well-rehearsed, still playing the part you've made yours.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2007 by Dick Allen, whose most recent book of poetry is "Present Vanishing," Sarabande Books, 2008. Poem reprinted from "North Dakota Quarterly," Vol. 74, no. 3, Summer 2007, by permission of Dick Allen. Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Poetry Book Of The Week
Sonata for Rain is an incredible chapbook. Honestly, I was surprised that I liked it so much. I knew I'd like it, but I absolutely love it. Le Hinton of Iris G. Press knows how to pick a book and he picked a real winner in Rebecca Gonzalez. Sonata for Rain is a lyrical exclamation point in silent half rests.
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