“[H]is prosodic manners are immaculate; this guy knows how to write formal verse, without a dropped, stretched, or off-beat foot anywhere in sight. ... Marvelous reading.”
“Davis’s poems exemplify Auden’s definition of the art as ‘the clear expression of mixed feelings.’ With a sly, self-deprecating wit, a wisdom that spurns bombast, they are charming, as well as intelligent, so clear and deftly controlled that a reader might overlook the ‘mixed feelings’ that they express, the disquiet and passionate ambivalence.”
Virginia Quarterly Review
“This volume is a perfect example of (Swallow Press/Ohio University Press’s) ability to find and publish the best of the genre. Davis has an uncanny knack of making amazingly accurate observations of seemingly everyday events.... Highly recommended.”
The Oklahoma Observer
BOOKLIST May 2006*STARRED REVIEW* Davis' Belonging (2002) is one of the most rereadable books of poems of recent years, and his new collection is another. Again, his prosodic manners are immaculate; this guy knows how to write formal verse, without a dropped, stretched, or off-beat foot anywhere in sight. Again, he writes in many different modes: lyrical, dramatic (and historical), epigrammatic, satiric, elegiac. If he sounds sad now and then, he is never mournful, let alone depressed. His poem in memoriam to Edgar Bowers consists of bright bits of anecdote that vividly characterize the older poet. If a sudden tear in the fabric of his personal time, such as seeing a long-dead friend's eyes in the face of the driver of an oncoming car, frightens him, he recovers on a note of near tribute. More often here than in Belonging, he is funny in the manner of a genuine humorist (see "A Visit to Grandmother's," in particular) and light in the manner of the best light-verse writersnot least in wearing his considerable learning lightly. There are poems here that draw on classical myth and literature and on eminent Victorians (see "Turgeniev and Friends") as well as a brilliant monologue in the voice of an unusual informant of thirteenth-century Crusade chronicler Jean de Joinville; nowhere does pedantry overpower, or even threaten, character and incident. Marvelous reading. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“The pleasures it offers readers are rich and varied.”
The Hudson Review