Throughout, there’s a lot of luminous polemic, a slue of terrific poems (Man Ray’s ‘Untitled’ was a new one on me), a bevy of insights about art and poetry. If you are looking for a classy thought-provoking rant, if you want something to stir and shake you up and perhaps inspire you to start writing poems (if you don’t already) then The Art of Recklessness is prescribed.
Although the price is rather steep, even for a textbook, this isn’t a book you can just read through, put back on the shelf and forget. For those that want an insight, both as reader, and perhaps more valuably, as writer, into the techniques of poetry in general, and those specific to the giants of poetry that make up the ultra-influential modernist movement, this is a book that can be returned to regularly. It is well structured, well researched, clearly written, and full of innovative insights.
The poems convey a diverse range of moods and themes: love and longing, celebrations of nature and music and drinking ale, sorrow and melancholy, mysticism.
jpg” align = “left”> Throughout the book, the imagery is always powerful – drawing from myth, fairy tales, a painter’s palette, Blake, medical terminology, the beautician’s rooms, the seaside, and above all, the natural world.
You will find it difficult to decide on favourites herein. Close to the top must come David Wojahn’s poem about the meeting between Dylan and Woody Guthrie at the Brooklyn State Hospital. Then there is Tomas Transtromer’s poem about Haydn (‘Allegro’), which is quite sublime.
There is an abundance of that much vaunted Russian soul – spiritual and cynical, sometimes both at once; continually celebrating and kvetching about creation – in this fine collection.
Introduction to French Poetry provides a lovely and well-structured overview which will help show the relationship between poets – how one historical movement gave rise to another, as well as to provide a beginner’s sense of the many different styles and symbols of the poetic giants who shaped the French poetic landscape.
Language is used here as talisman – a means for escaping the ugliness of the present into something bigger and, if not better, more powerful. Rhythm and alliteration are used expertly, to create partial rhymes and a song-like metre that mirrors meaning.
Beatriz Copello’s under the gums’ long shade is a beautifully written, tender collection full of rich moments. It travels along a very national route, exploring the Australian terrain, and then moves outward to a place that encompasses all of humanity.
Each poem stands alone and it is possible to read them in isolation, but whether Darwin is studying, travelling, testing hypotheses, raising children, reflecting on life and death, or dying, there is a real sense of the humanity behind the legend – something that the reader can identify with.