In Save The Last Dance, Gerald Stern Gives Us A Stunning Collection Of His Intimately Personal Yet Always Universal, And Always Surprising Poems, Rich With Humor And Insight Shorter Lyric Poems In The First Two Parts Continue The Satirical And Often Redemptive Vision Of His Last Collection, Everything Is Burning, While Never Failing To Carve Out New Emotional Territory In The Third Part, A Long Poem Called The Preacher, Stern Takes The Book Of Ecclesiastes As A Starting Point For A Meditation On Loss, Futility, And Emptiness, Represented Here By The Concept Of A Hole That Resurfaces Throughout. I was about half way through this before I understood how to read it And shortly after that, he changed up his style for The Preacher For me, I had to read Stern one word at a time I don t mean that to be cliche, it s just that his lack of punctuation is very disconcerting If I try to find some sort of rhythm I go crazy trying to place it and force it I could be reached poetircally if I read at an even pace and fairly monotone.For Example Dream IIII would like to live on air tooand I have an idea the kind of nourishmentI d get with or without my strings for what didI need them for and all those gnarled rootsbeside the wilted rhododendron and what didI need the dried out grapes for and the wetleaves and one harmonica under a rustedburst out water pipe and even a mangledsparrow under the porch the way my brain works.Anyway, as with most any poetry collection I read, there were some definite gems I have noticed though, that when I go back and read other people s reviews of the book I just read they all seem to say, This is not _______________ s best collection Well that s what I want to see.I did particularly like One Poet I sense that the other poet morphed into the dog and he morphed into the pige
I was lucky enough to just see him read his poetry in public I m guessing that is a rare experience these days He was delightful and hearing his poetry in person was amazing It prompted me to read this book I really enjoyed it. Maybe I have to read this again someday because I think I might have missed something either because of my own inadequate attention at the moment or because I lack the knowledge to understand most of the poems. I don t know But this didn t really do much for me sigh While it does contain some moments of excellent imagery and than a few interesting lines, as a whole this collection feels uninspired and lifeless Hints of Stern s usual mastery show through at times but rarely does this collection approach the energy and strength of his previous works.
- 80 pages
- Save the Last Dance: Poems
- Gerald Stern
- 15 June 2019 Gerald Stern