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Posted March 15, 2011
David Price has offered a poetry collection that explores translation, the Catholic world view gone bitter, and various news items. The result is a bit hodge-podge but certainly musical and sometimes thought-provoking.
The influence of Catholicism is evident from the very title and continues through poems which speak of altar girls, incense, and saints. But this is
not elevated to anything resembling spiritual joy or satisfaction. For the most part, the poems take an ironical, even bitter, stance towards these matters. They clearly hint at frustration and sometimes seem to touch on hypocrisy. The opening poem which takes place on the streets of Atlantis sets this tone immediately.
This cracked bell tone regarding Catholicism suits the layout of the collection. Every poem is presented both in English and in Spanish. Although I do not pretend to know the Spanish language well enough to truly judge, it seems to me that the poems work better in Spanish. One gets the impression that they were written first in Spanish and then translated to English, being ultimately placed in such a way as to intimate that the opposite is true. And it very well could be. However, the music and rhythm of the poems seems much stronger, more tangible and believable, in Spanish.
On the whole, Price exhibits a tender care of his work that is admirable and vital for a poet. There are, however, some instances where the reader is thrown by an ill-placed comma. Some of his choices regarding where to break the lines slow the rhythm and might have been reconsidered. But there are some interesting lines throughout that encourage the reader to continue in search of the next little delight.
The best poem to be found here is also the shortest: "Poetry and A Passing Moment". I will quote it entirely here:
It was the drumming of thumbs,
that drew my attention to her.
She looked up without moving her neck,
her eyes cocked like a pistol.
We connected for an instant,
One that would not be remembered
if not for this piece of poetry.
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Posted March 8, 2011
This book has some poems that are breathtaking. Two come to mind, The Kiss and Under the Jaguar Sun. I highly recommend this copy. I don't speak Spanish but I enjoyed comparing the English words to the Spanish ones. I am certain you will like this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.