by Craig Morgan Teicher Book  |  1st ed
Some interesting formal experiments   (2013-01-21)
To a great extent, the poems in this book seemed to me pretty much typical illustrations of the creative writing principles "write what you know" and "show don't tell." As with so much of such work, these principles are applied to produce sequences of poems about family experience, and, though often the emotions, as here, are so clearly heartfelt that they may make criticism seem ungenerous, I can't say that this sort of poetry (and there seems to be an awful lot of it being produced nowadays) personally appeals to me very much. I found the poems here more interesting than most verse in this vein: many of them ring intriguing changes on traditional forms, especially the sonnet, and the poet has an ear for the occasional memorable phrase. The poems I thought most successful were the few in which the personal narrative is dropped in favor of more general reflections on life and death, for instance, the poems "The Prince of Rivers" or "Like an Answer, Yes" -- if more poems in this collection were this good, I probably would have given it four stars. If you aren't as put off as I am by the style of poetry I've described, this book will probably appeal to you. (Reviewed by Jon Corelis)
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