Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Review day #3

There’s a new Caffeine Destiny out so I moseyed over to find something to review today. I decided on Shane McCrae’s poems since I’ve never read him before – no baggage, no associations, etc.

Here are the two Shane McCrae poems. Read them, then come back.

Neighborhood Watch

I thought this was a good poem, not stellar but enjoyable. I like the parallel between the compost heap and the “whatever is inside me” – all that organic matter breaking down like a relationship. The idea of slowly painting a picture of a compost heap is a smart one since you know the longer you paint the more the subject will change, in this case blacken and rot. The guitar case was a surpise and maybe a misstep, but I can only assume it’s some kind of personal totem concerning the “you” of this poem. I felt the “Yes,” near the end presumed too much and the ending would have gone over better without it.

Songbirds Do Something Overhead

This was a much better poem, a really good poem. Lots of motion there helped by the use of space, punctuation, off-syntax. Don’t let anyone tell you the word “something” is bad for a poem. I love the something in this poem, and I liked it especially in the title because I wanted to know what the something was. The “yes” interjection in this one comes off more naturally, and the poem settles well, without a deafening “ta-da!” or a crippling whimper.

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