Goat Dances by Ron Loewinsohn
My rating: 3/5 cats
loving his two novels the way i have, i was really hoping to also fall in love with his poetry. but, nope, i could not. it’s okay—there are definite heights, but the best parts of this book were the prose parts: the ruminations on poetry itself, the couple of short stories and the the nine fairy tales. and the reason i think i didn’t love the poems so much was because they came covered in seventies. you know what i mean? there is a certain feeling—a certain way poetry was written in the seventies. (the nineteen-seventies) urg, i wish i could pin it down. it’s nature and lovemaking and embracing selfhood, but it’s something more, it’s like you can just sense the turtleneck behind it all (and i just checked—he is not wearing a turtleneck in the picture) but it’s the presence of the turtleneck overlord or something that presides over most poetry written in that decade. and although i loved the fairy tales here most of all, i also have to inquire—if anyone knows—about the abundance of fairy tale retellings that peppered the seventies: carter and coover and barthelme (which i think was the late sixties, but i don’t feel like stopping to check) etc etc. and i have generally liked them all, but i’m just having a wonder. it just seems like a trend that got really popular among a certain caliber of writers for a short time and then petered out from that realm and then got taken over by the ellen datlows and the more genre-specific writers of fantasy. i know richard powers has never done it, and he’s the closest thing i can think of to a contemporary robert coover, in the terms i am considering. the strongest poetry-part of this book was the cycle called “the leaves,” for which i have to write a separate review, as it was one of my secret santa prezzies (yay!) this is the most useless thing i have ever offered unto goodreads.com. sorry.
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