Thursday, January 15, 2015

In Other Words, Bruce Taylor

In Other Words: Poems

Bruce Taylor

Category: Poetry

Synopsis: Poetry by Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s poet laureate.

Date finished: 26 October 2014 

Rating: **

I really shouldn’t write this review because it’s not going to be terribly complete or balanced, but I promised myself I’d review everything I read this year, so here goes. I have to say, this book of poetry represents everything that’s bad about poetry, every reason why people hate it. The poems in this collection are hopelessly pedantic, full of obscure references that the average reader would never understand.

It’s not poorly written poetry, though. It’s tight and polished and well-metered. Taylor has a strong command of what he wants to say, and he says it and no more. And there were some truly charming passages, such as this from “Without You”:

If you think
I’ll get along
without you
well enough
you don’t know me
well enough.

What a sweet bit of verse, eh?

But the rest? I felt like I might as well have been reading German street signs in the heart of Paris. I didn’t get much out of it.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

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I have truly enjoyed much of Taylor’s other work.

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