Starred Review. Poet, novelist, and National Book Award-winning YA author Alexie writes "with a ragged and rugged formalism," he says, and has mastered both the metrical dance and fixed forms. A sequence of sonnets finds the Seven Deadly Sins in marriage, for instance; a villanelle begins with Mount… More »
Starred Review. Poet, novelist, and National Book Award-winning YA author Alexie writes "with a ragged and rugged formalism," he says, and has mastered both the metrical dance and fixed forms. A sequence of sonnets finds the Seven Deadly Sins in marriage, for instance; a villanelle begins with Mount Rushmore but eases into a consideration of America's Presidents, complemented by wry and smart footnotes. One series of rhymed tercets in tetrameter is supplemented with footnotes in the same formal pattern, footnotes that have footnotes, by the way. Top that! Well, a sonnet (about comedy) has footnotes presented in seven couplets, then notes on those notes in three quatrains and a final coupletin essence, a sonnet hat trick. Alexie is keen-witted and sharp-tongued, even occasionally raw, but all in the service of truth: "But don't these fools realize/ That I am always surprised// By the beauty of this life?/ Don't they ever laugh and cry// at the gorgeous absurdities of sex?" Alexie is not always about laughs, not always about sex; there are a lot of serious undercurrents in his poetry, and they are always a pleasure to find. Highly recommended.Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.« Less
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