Gordon’s Poetry Should Be On Every Shelf
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Simply put, Beth Gordon’s poetry is beautiful. The instantly gripping Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe will make readers regret that they hadn’t found this collection sooner. Beth Gordon’s collection, published through Animal Heart Press in 2019, is a fantastic display of masterful emotional control and artistic expression. Gordon’s poems are sculpted to create sensational pangs in her readers. Her finesse, dedication and thoughtful construction results in a collection that should be on every bookshelf.
The text as a whole is introspective aching work of defiant mysticism. Often the speaker will examine decisions like “…the outline of my body in white chalk, / un-erased.” The speaker acknowledges in “Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe” that while coming upon a possum finalized in its “…conversion / from mammal to rock…” that while there will always be a sadness which accompanies death the speaker too slaughters animals regularly:
…I am aware of my refrigerator, of eggs I boiled for /
breakfast, of my other life with chickens and dirt, an axe and old tree stump, /
a lover, a plucking of feathers, /
my hands forever the hands of death…”
Gordon also examines America in relation to other countries in “While You Are in Iceland” and tests the claim that America is the “greatest country in the world.” In ten movements which equal the ten days of a what seems to be the speaker’s child excursion to Iceland, Gordon emphatically argues that American cannot be the greatest country in the world as long as “…children are ripped at the seams…” and the American public continues to be “…cannibals, / we suck the marrow of our young and change the channel.” By the end of the piece, the speaker is pleading for the trip to never end. The speaker begs the child, “Do not exchange magical / incantations for sirens, for shrieking and gnashing of teeth…” With beautiful turns of phrases, Gordon makes her that America is far from perfect, that sweetness of its smell may in fact be the smell of rot.
Gordon’s poetry is “…lightning, trapped in bones…” Her work should be highly recommended to anyone with children, aging parents and most importantly, any lovers of poetry. There is such an attention to detail present in the text that makes it an actual page turner. There are too many fantastic poems in this collection to recommend specifics. Her words envelope and intoxicate like the martinis they drink in Eureka Springs.
Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe can be purchased online or through your local bookstore.
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