Monday, May 19, 2014

Hunger Wide as Heaven, Max Garland

Hunger Wide as Heaven


Max Garland

Category: Poetry

Synopsis: Poems by the current Wisconsin poet laureate.

Date finished: 16 April 2014

Rating: ****

Max Garland was my poetry workshop instructor in college. I am indebted to him for what he did for my poetry writing and for bringing poetry to life for me. Anything I know about poetry I learned from others. Anything I feel for poetry, I learned from Max.

This collection, like his debut The Postal Confessions, is a fabulous group of poems that heavily employ themes of faith and the natural world. Imagery is poetry walking, and his images live, breathe, sigh, and are as earnest as clergy. These are gentle poems, subtle poems you can get into and interact with because they are poems about the human experience and the human reaction to life.

And occasionally, they’re darn funny.

A stanza from my favorite poem of the collection, “This Tree”:

The sky’s brightness on this winter day,
the way the blue fills in, coronates
and haloes the branches,
renders the linden a little ridiculous,
like a skeleton with a hairdo,
all teased out with no place to go
except through the wind’s hands
over and over.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
Anything by Billy Collins or William Stafford.

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