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Posted April 19, 2011
Robert Hass is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and this is his first book of poetry. As a poet Hass is mostly an autodidact, and he learned the art of poetry long before the poetry workshops became popular. This results in much freshness and variety of the forms that his poems take. And yet even in these early poems one can sense a lot of maturity and self-assurance in the use of language that oftentimes come with many years of experience. He is confident enough to be able to use even the simplest language in his poems in order to convey complex and nonobvious images.
The landscape that Robert Hass provides us with is primarily the landscape of California. It is the landscape of a magnificent coast, but it's also a landscape of its people and thoughts. Hass is a keen observer of the human nature in its habitat, and he reports it sometimes with its raw nakedness, even if this verges on provocative and vulgar.
The poems in this collection vary in style and length, from three-line haikus, to more prose-like poems that span several pages. All of them, however, bear Hass' unique signature and style. They are a refreshing read and highly enjoyable for every lover of poetry.
Posted May 13, 2009
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This is an awesome collection to have in one's own library.
Everyone should own this work, along with Ohio Blue Tips by Jeanne E. Clark, The Photos In The Closet by Daniel E. Lopez, and works by Alison Townsend.