Book Review: Love Poems by Charles Bane, Jr.

lovepoemsTitle: Love Poems
Author: Charles Bane, Jr.
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Aldrich Press
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the author
Number of pages: 27

Poetry is a difficult genre to review. There isn’t a plot to talk about, and so much of what a person experiences when reading poetry is personal. Charles Bane, Jr. is a renowned poet, and his poetry has been praised by many people who know a lot more about poetry than I do. For me, this collection was a bit hit and miss – but it’s more a case of wrong reader than wrong book.

While reading Bane’s collection, I discovered that I am a lazy writer where poetry is concerned. I like my poetry straight-forward and accessible, and I don’t like having to read a poem two or three times to gain full understanding. I know that is my own short-coming, as poetry is meant to be read that way. And so for those of you who are deeper, more patient poetry readers, I think this collection will speak to you.

Like all anthologies, whether poetry or short fiction or essays, certain selections resonated more than others. This poem was one that I am still thinking about, and wanted to save:

Nebraska Territory, 1853. For Alfred Corn

I love the brilliance of this
hour; simple calico is turned
to Joseph’s coat and your
upturned face does not permit
transient light to wheel and disappear.
No furrows mark your cheeks and
I long to lengthen lines of joy
about your eyes, and dam them
high against the beat of flood. Emmaline,
our crop is heaped into flowered
fields, and our book of days is
waiting to be inscribed, one
generation at a time.

That last sentence, in particular, is simply beautiful.

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