Sunday, July 8, 2012

Poetry Round-Up

Books Reviewed: Light-Headed, by Matt Hart; Oubliette, by Peter Richards; Maximum Gaga, by Lara Glenum
I read so much poetry these days that I can't possibly blog about each book. So every once in a while, I do these round-ups to let you know what I've been reading lately. Here are three books I've read (if not necessarily enjoyed) this last week:

Light-Headed:  Hart's poetry is a lot of fun, taking liberties with language and form.  While this book wasn't necessarily emotionally satisfying for me, I did enjoy reading it.  I envy Hart's wordplay, the way he can throw two old words together that shouldn't belong but which suddenly look new and exciting next to one another.  He's like a word matchmaker, throwing literal common sense out the window.  Poems I particularly liked here: "Waking Fit," "This Is the Vast in the Middle," "All the Hours We're Asleep," and "Minerva System."

Oubliette:  After reading and loving Richards's Helsinki a couple weeks ago, I decided to check out his earlier work.  Mistake.  There is nothing worse than loving a book and finding out you don't like anything else the author has written (I'm looking at you, Joe Hill).  Oubliette isn't bad; it's just boring.  I couldn't get into it at all.  The poems are too interested in philosophy and religion for my taste, and the language and lines aren't interesting enough to distract me from its problem of subject matter.  Being a big thinker is not a problem for me in poetry (afterall, I love Rilke), but when it doesn't sing right, it just ends up being a snoozer. 

Maximum Gaga:  I get it, but that doesn't mean I necessarily liked it.  I was bored with its "shocking" tone and found the subject matter to be same-old-hat.  Sorry, contemporary poetry world.

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