Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poems I'm enjoying

This weekend I started reading a book of poems - The Days of Wine & Roses by Jack Hayes - that I received from the poet in a book giveaway at his blog, Robert Frost's Banjo.

I'm going to make some comments here on four - Heaven #1, Heaven #2, Heaven #3, Heaven #4 - which don't appear one immediately after another in the book, but I've read them that way (as soon as I saw #1, I wanted to skip ahead to 2 and so forth):

I like how they're poems pieced together of fragments. Each line is an image/thought that often feels like a poem in and of itself; they read well together, but also individually and independently. They engage the senses and blend them too (like "orange marmalade full moon"), and ask questions, and give you a startling, sharp, and sometimes awesomely absurd way of seeing something (like the wonderful description of snowflakes in Heaven #4); altogether there's the feeling of how people experience the world - lots of fleeting sensory experiences and thoughts/feelings that surface in passing, in the course of the day or during certain events, and in memory - and the things we remember, the details, can feel so random and arbitrary but they're very deeply not. And now because poetry has caught these impressions, seared them to the page, they're not so fleeting (and what's captured may be an elusive glimpse or scent, or it maybe something that seems to fill the page - and the mind - for several moments as you absorb it).

And I like how certain lines repeat within poems, and also across them (blue eyeshadow recurs across poems, and cat's eye shades in different incarnations). The repetitions - which aren't intrusive - help hold the poems together, though still loosely (but it's effective - a kind of orienting device for the reader... and one that also gives a feeling of undercurrents running through the words).

Anyway, I'm truly enjoying this collection of poems (for more of a sample, there's also a blog devoted to the book).