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2 books of poetry

Speak LowSpeak Low by Carl Phillips

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Carl Phillips is a strong poet, mixing the literary and the sensual, the natural and the intellectual. While I enjoyed a great many of these poems, I also felt like something was lacking, something that would have put them over the top, making them transcendent and truly classic. These are dense, challenging pieces, no doubt, and they are rich with image, allusion and beauty.

After Ikkyu & Other PoemsAfter Ikkyu & Other Poems by Jim Harrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jim Harrison is one of my favorite poets and this older book, inspired by Zen philosophy, is surprisingly angry at times. Alive with images of nature at its most beautiful and its most base, the title poem is really a cycle of 57 short poems that constitute much of the book. Irreverent, beautiful, and big-hearted, this is classic Jim Harrison, full of wisdom and appreciation with a powerful message, i.e., pay attention.



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