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The Boys at Twilight : Poems 1990 - 1995 by…
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The Boys at Twilight : Poems 1990 - 1995

by Glyn Maxwell

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I found many of these poems somewhat forgettable, and a bit too formed by form, but there were some treasures here as well. Particularly in Maxwell's more recent work (the third section here, especially), he's got such a deft touch of irony and humor built into each poem that they're not only memorable, but alternately heartwrenching and hopeful. The poetic sequence ending the second section, "Out of the Rain", is also a fascinating return to the story/idea of Noah's Ark, full of humor and subtle commentary. All in all, the last half of the book made this well worth the read, but the beginning left something to be desired and fell a bit flat, not having the characters or charisma to carry off what his later portions manage.

If you want contemporary form poetry or poetic sequences, this whole book might be for you. Otherwise, I'd start on page 86 with "Out of the Rain", and read on from there. In that fashion, I'd say this comes highly recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Apr 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618064141, Paperback)

The poems in this volume were selected by Glyn Maxwell from TALE OF THE MAYOR'S SON (published in 1990, when he was twenty-eight), OUT OF THE RAIN (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize), and REST FOR THE WICKED. Maxwell “is a formalist,” wrote Robert McIlwaine about his first book, “but . . . he is an outspoken anti-elitist social poet. His strenuous well-wrought poems . . . come from an English tradition of technical virtuosity with plain speech.” The Boys at Twilight shows, sometimes comically, men at war, boys at play, boys grown up, men overreaching and reverting. Other concerns are the dangers of authority and mob psychology, the absurdities of stardom and consumerism, the heroism of the decent, and the wisdom of doubt. His subjects range from biblical stories to the “Tale of the Chocolate Egg,” which is a long, “pitch-perfect description of a bored young man’s growing obsession with a new kind of candy” (Adam Kirsch, New Republic). Always in his work, “Maxwell knows that to see into is not necessarily to see through . . . His virtuosity has a ballast of sobriety” (Poetry Book Society).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:09 -0400)

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