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It’s Nat’l Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! Month: A Review

April 25, 2011 \am\30 6:32 am

Review Addressing Future Readers of Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!, Peter Davis, the Author, and How This Review Was Instrumental in Why You Chose to Read Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! Instead of Oprah’s Latest Book Club Selection

This is an opening sentence expressing a nigh infallible truth—You will love Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! by Peter Davis. Or at least you will be entertained in a thought-provoking way by it. It’s terrific. No really, it is. Not that I was expecting it not to be. The book blurbs read flatteringly enough. By the time I finished the table of contents I was struck by gleeful anticipation. Yes, that has to be reason number one as to why you want to read this book—gleeful anticipation with every turn of the page..

The aforementioned table of contents is a community of titles such as “Poem Addressing a Very Entertaining Thought,” “Poem Addressing Conspiracy Theorists,” “Poem Addressing the Very Numerous Instants That Cling Together, Forming an Enormous Rope of Life That Is Goofy and Strange,” it is an etcetera of poems addressing all manner of pomp and circumstance. Of course you can see a certain repetitive and self-, or rather poem-aware construct. Because of this, the table of contents itself takes on an anaphorastic list-poem quality defining the world created within its pages.

And now a paragraph addressing the poetry-ness of these poems and contextualizing them in a tradition. By calling them poems in their titles Davis calls attention to the reader’s potential and probable preconceived notions of poetry setting up certain expectations. Upon reading the first poem these expectations are recast. These poems are written in prose, sentences of variable length winding across the page in consecutive fashion mimicking paragraphs.  For the uninitiated, I would like to take this moment to point to that “other” poetic tradition of prose poetry.

Celebrated poet David Lehman, editor of The Best American Poetry series, traces the form in all its dazzling variety in Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present. Peter Davis with Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! aligns himself squarely in and continues to push this tradition joining contemporary authors like Daniel Nester and Joe Wenderoth. So to you Peter Davis, I say, Bravo. Oh, maybe you will be included in an updated edition of Lehman’s anthology.

This here is a paragraph addressing a potentially philosophic and scholarly notion as well as a personal desire for this book with an aside about prose poetry. Even though I’m MIA from the academies of the MFA, I enjoy and appreciate the poems Davis devotes to publishing and being and reviewed, but I admit at times to wishing he’d expanded more often into the larger world of poems like “Poem Addressing People Who Are Tired, Hungry, or Horny.” Many of the poems here seem written at other poets or writers. And that’s not indignant nor an indictment. Readership being a central to this book, Davis has certainly chosen his primary audience with predetermined purpose. My wish for this book is that anyone reading these poems will be able to identify and empathize with the sentiments and consciousness contained therein. It would be a shame if the fatuous readers of poetry went unnourished by these delectable bits of prose. My wish for potential readers of Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! is twofold: 1) Poetry has relevance to life in our time, and 2) to take enjoyment in being surprised (perhaps by the discovery of number 1).

A new paragraph addressing some humorous lines and a chance moment with Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! along with a congratulations to Mr. Davis on being selected for The Best American Poetry 2010. Page after page I was joyously greeted by such lines as “I’m so glad the idea of sex has entered into this poem,” and “Wow, I can’t imagine how this poem would find you Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Luke Perry, Jason Priestly, Ian Ziering, Shannon Doherty, Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle Carteris, Carol Potter, James Eckhouse, Joe E. Tata, and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen,” and “Yikes! This Poem is beginning to sound like a Led Zeppelin song! Sucky!” It is a difficult task exacting the funny out of context. The internal funny of this book will undoubtedly manifest externally in snickers, laughs and smiles. So, I was waiting for an appointment in the appropriately named waiting room of a urologist office reading Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! to pass the time, when I turned the page to discover “Poem Addressing People Who Are Waiting Somewhere for Something and so Are Reading This Poem Just to Kill the Time.” I laughed.  Here’s your heartfelt congrats, Peter. It’s exciting, isn’t it?!

Now to start wrapping things up with a paragraph addressing why you chose to read Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! instead of Oprah’s latest Book Club selection. You’ve been on the fence about what to read next. I know, it can be a tough decision , what with time being so precious. You’ve recently been recycling authors but at this moment you crave something different, something new. So you’ve decided to see what’s on Oprah’s list: Dickens?! But you read Dickens in high school. That just feels stale. It’s time to go new classic, not old. So now you’ve stumbled upon this review and have become slightly amused and intrigued. This reviewer seems like he could be a literary tastemaker. He seems like he’s got a grasp on contemporary poetry anyway. But he’s not too egg-heady. I’m going to give Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! a try. Reader, I like your openness.

And this here, the finale, a closing appropriating the opening line and sentiment from “Poem Addressing the Reader and Expressing a Beautiful Hope,” I am very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to read this [review]. Now go get yourself a copy of Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

Check it out here

Bloof Books

  1. I AM SHAUN GANNON permalink
    April 9, 2011 \pm\30 6:04 pm 6:04 pm

    this book does in fact own

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