Sarra cannon shadow demons book 10

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sarra cannon shadow demons book 10

Tar by C.K. Williams

I love all the poems in this short book, even the last poem, One of the Muses, which is so unlike the others: abstract, indirect, written in more noticeably poetic language (blessèd and wingèd make appearances) than all the previous poems, which are similar in their vivid physical description and compressed narrative structure. One of the Muses wasnt my favorite, but it made the book more complete and memorable -- it reveals something of the speaker who observes and reports through the first 50 pages. The first poem is From My Window, very obviously about looking outward, and One of the Muses ends the book by looking in, at length and in strange, complex detail.

My favorite poems are those first 16, which describe ugly things beautifully, because ugliness is very complicated and rich and multifarious. You can really open to any page and find some exciting and/or chilling, funny, etc., detail, e.g. the palsied elevator that emits a spermy, scummy odor of half a century of secret damp or a boys testicles with skin tougher than the soles of his feet, or this amazingly detailed description of a cheap Uncle Sam Halloween costume:

When Id had it half an hour, I hated it--even at that age, I knew when Id been cheated.
Ill-made, shoddy, the gauzy fabric coarsely dyed, with the taste of something evil in its odor,
it was waxy with a stiffening that gave it body long enough for you to get it on,
then it bagged, and clung, and made you feel the fool youd been to want it in the first place.

What a clear, awful picture of this innocuous-seeming piece of American culture. It seems satirical, but its not preachy. The long lines have a strong, driving rhythm, with plenty of pauses to let you catch your breath.

Im ranting. Anyway, Id recommend this book to anyone. If you dont read much contemporary poetry and are wondering where to start, Id start here. It has all the pleasure of good prose, but it deserves the attention that poetry demands.



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Published 11.02.2019

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