Poetry

The Dream Songs: Poems by John Berryman - Book Review

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The Dream Songs: Poems (FSG Classics) Cover Image
By John Berryman, Daniel Swift (Editor), Michael Hofmann (Introduction by)
$19.00
ISBN: 9780374534554
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 21st, 2014

Berryman invented his own poetic form with semi-specific rules: each Dream Song consists of three stanzas, six lines each, with irregular rhyme schemes and a short closing line. Henry, the collection’s fictional narrator, perpetually despondent and grieving some unstated loss, seems to have split himself down the middle: He sometimes switches between first and third person narration within the span of a single poem, and the only other character refers to Henry as “Mr. Bones.” Heavy and mesmerizing. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 by Albert Goldbarth - Book Review

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$18.00
ISBN: 9781555975265
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Published: Graywolf Press - April 27th, 2009

If Walt Whitman were an adjunct science professor minoring in history, he might have written poetry like Albert Goldbarth. Connecting elements of astronomy to domesticity, paleontology to romance, zoology to spiritual anguish, botany to the loneliness of existence, Goldbarth zooms in and out from the quantum to the telescopic, the prehistoric to the present, and back again. Currently my favorite poet! ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


, said the shotgun to the head. by Saul Williams - Book Review

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, said the shotgun to the head. Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780743470797
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Published: MTV Books - September 1st, 2003

A ticking time bomb of a poem in eleven parts, this book held my attention from the opening lines. Simultaneously scatterbrained and intensely focused, he confronts war, religion, patriarchy, gun violence, and his own emotional depths. Saul Williams’ hip hop and spoken word backgrounds strongly inform his verse, with playful font choices that echo the inflections of voice. You can almost hear the words on the page. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


Alien vs. Predator (Penguin Poets) by Michael Robbins - Book Review

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$20.00
ISBN: 9780143120353
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Published: Penguin Books - March 27th, 2012

Robbins’ poetry is a mash-up of references, as the title alludes. Hip-hop and heavy metal lyrics, movie quotes, Bible verses, commercials, pop psychology, cliches, and nursery rhymes are all fair game. He blends them with wry bits of humor, sexuality, and encyclopedic bombast. The result is pure vulgar brilliance. His follow-up, The Second Sex, is fantastic as well. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman - Book Review

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Leaves of Grass (Word Cloud Classics) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781626863903
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Published: Canterbury Classics - July 1st, 2015

One of my all-time favorite collections of poetry, this influential volume went through many revisions, expansions, and reprints. Any version is a good one. From the miniscule to the universal, Whitman set his ever-widening lens on the world around him in a fresh way, pushing the boundaries of free verse. Try “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” for a quick one, or my favorite, “Song of the Open Road.” ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


The Red Wheelbarrow & Other Poems by William Carlos Williams - Book Review

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$11.95
ISBN: 9780811227889
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Published: New Directions - May 29th, 2018

This slim collection features a handful of Williams’ most well-known works, including the sparse, elegant title poem and, my favorite of his, “This is Just to Say.” A perfect, pocket-sized gift for anyone who loves poetry. Try his Selected Poems for a more thorough compilation. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


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