Format: paperback 5.5 x 8.5
Cover price: $11.95
Availability: E-book Edition
Available at: Outskirts Press
Distribution: Ingram, Baker & Taylor
Published: Outskirts Press, Inc
Publication Date: April, 05, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
My rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
I am avid lover of nature most especially rain, thunderstorms are electrifying. So when I was given the opportunity to sit down with Erik Hansen's new poetry book I was in awe. I was entrapped by his vivid use of realism and vice grip on detailing the little things of nature that breathe life into its imagery. His poems were fluid and flawed, emotional and real and if you know my poems than you know that's basically how I write. Poetry is the deepest form of expression (though I suppose a painter would say so of pushing leaded paint around a canvas to form a musician) there is nothing poised or neat about ones emotions. Brutal things emotions are.
Anyhow, Erik managed well, to capture nature while also throwing in his own reflections on his personal thoughts; thoughts having arose from glimpsing nature. I was deeply saddened that I was not outside while reading this or in the mountains perhaps by a kindling fire. Now as a history major I was entranced, his use of Berlin's aches, stark detailing of Oxford, and devastation of young soldiers in South Africa. He seemed to have touched on ever subject poetry ought to touch upon. Most of his poems did not rhyme in the classical form and I did find that at points I was wishing for a bit more... I don't know refinery perhaps. Then he would say things like:
Where do these ghosts of yours come from?
These "dead sons-of-bitches" grinning whitely
In the streetlights glow"
And I'd be so taken aback with inspiration that I'd forget the book and start scribbling away a poem of my own thinking where the hell did that come from?
I do so adore being surprised.
As for instance when I reached his poem entitled Hush where his words danced along the lines of prose sucking me into a story of a man infused with his first hunt. Words would slap out at me such the likes of:
"Cold and sweating
Begging to sleep
Praying to die
Trudging across the fields
Of fresh cut stubble
Cutting my feet"
And once again I am left reeling, brows creased in concentration when I reached the end of the poem I let out a rush of breath and said "Where the hell the did that come from?"
What I most enjoyed about Erik's poems was the simplistic way in which they flowed almost faulty; how his poems were a crack in his mind not written but just there. A metaphor for it would be the San Andreas fault line how it is simply there, deeply rooted in danger and realism. How we all know of it , we drive over it, live by it, not accepting but ignoring it's presence. Humankind has always been truly good at ignoring unpleasant things, the fault line will crack and split in two, shifting the earth, stranding people in the mountains from the people in the valleys below; but it hasn't happened yet so we ignore it. Erik's poems make me think of all the things I am forgetting the remember.
Why the rating: I did not connect with every poem, some we're a bit boorish I admit, (which is not to distract from the others that were not) some poems melted away from the pages leaving me with thinking they were just lines and words. Rhyme is something I am fond of and though my own poems do not have much of it (I'm told) I found Erik's to be lacking also a bit of rhythm - as mentioned before. To a point in which I found myself adding or replacing words in a poem.
Favorite Poem: Daughter; it was so richly... just full of love. The greaat exactitude his words reaked with made my heart ache. How he choose his words to shape his daughter to form his image perfectly and the amount of pride that shone through the words was endearing. Also it was simple and smooth little words here and there to snap my attention, to make my lips twitch into a fond little saddened smile. For what it made me remember.