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The Game of Boxes: Poems by Catherine…

The Game of Boxes: Poems

by Catherine Barnett

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It took me a while to connect with the poems in this collection. Some poems I had to reread several times until they began to click (though I think the distance had more to do with my headspace than with the poetry. Once it did click, though, I discovered poetry that took the everyday and commonplace and didn't so much as elevate it, as roll around in it, feeling the sharp and soft edges and appreciating them for what they are.

The collection is split in three sections.

The first, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful," features a dozen or so poems named "Chorus," which alternate with other poems with individual titles. The titled poems all deal with an "I" narrator, an individual, who could be the same individual in each case, while the Chorus poems all focus on a "We" narrator that takes up the song of the populace that circles the individual. Sometimes, while driving or walking down the street, I'll break out of my own personal narrative and be stunned by how many lives are going on around me, each with their own stories, their own internal monologues — reading "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" reminded me of that experience.

The second section, "Of All Faces," is comprised of a single long poems, called "Sweet Double, Talk Talk," a modern love story, full of sex and intimacy and distancing and coming round again. It's beautiful and subtle and bitter sweet, like love often is. I read this through a couple of times and connected deeper with it on the second reading.

The last section, called "The Modern Period," is a series of poems that approach everyday moments, such as visiting a doctor, and finds deeper resonance in each moment. ( )
  andreablythe | Feb 5, 2013 |
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