Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some Church by David Romtvedt

A cup of tea, a warm scone, a cat purring softly beside me, and a slim volume of verse – right out of the 19th century! This is a wonderful collection of poems! Most are sweet, some slightly sour, many with humor, and none with the angst and anger that permeates much of modern poetry. Romtvedt has written an almost perfect little book of poems. There were none here that I did not like.

He uses reflection and observation to create his little stories in verse. An example of what I mean is in “Buddha with a Cell Phone”

The dark sky opens and it starts to rain. I go outside
to stand in the stream, the longed-for gift of water
where it hasn’t rained for so long. I shout and dance
with the dog, who puts his ears back and licks my nose.
When we come back in, he shakes and I do too,
a few drops flying off my hair. I notice the Buddha
sitting on my desk. He’s a rubber Buddha
in a yellow robe. If you squeeze him he squeaks. (5)

Not in the class of Billy Collins, but Romtvedt is mighty close. This is the kind of poetry I aspire to write myself: fun, insightful, clever phrases, and detailed observations. Four and a half stars.

--Chiron, 7/20/08

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