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Park Songs: A Poem/Play by David Budbill
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Park Songs: A Poem/Play (edition 2012)

by David Budbill (Author), R. C. Irwin (Photographer), Mike Madrid (Designer)

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1811561,019 (3.33)3
Member:vpfluke
Title:Park Songs: A Poem/Play
Authors:David Budbill (Author)
Other authors:R. C. Irwin (Photographer), Mike Madrid (Designer)
Info:Exterminating Angel Press (2012), Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:poetry, drama, contemporary, experimental, Midwestern park, photographs, David Budbill, Early Reviewer

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Park Songs: A Poem/Play by David Budbill

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a tough read for me. It's definitely interesting as it's not just a play, not just poetry. It's very quirky, and reads like someone just having fun or playing with poetry. ( )
  ashschreck | Oct 4, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wish I knew what to make of this book. I love the idea - not quite a play, not quite a poem. More like little vignettes about a park and its denizens. When the writing is especially good it is a lot of fun, much like nonsense nursery rhymes for adults. The difficulty is it more often just seems like wordplay for the sake of wordplay, and isn't terribly engaging. I think it would be fun to read aloud with other, but reading it as one would any other book wasn't, for me, a fulfilling experience. ( )
  Fogcityite | Jul 6, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
3 1/2 stars

Park Songs presents the comings and goings, the loneliness and interactions of the various denizens of a city park. It's and interesting book, because it's not quite poetry and it's not quite a play. It's made up of a multitude of short scenes that present interlaced dialog or monologues, most of which are set off on their own as one to three page long pieces, or poems. There are a few actual poems with line breaks and rhyme, as well, which are described as traditional blues songs.

Reading is straight through, there is rhythm to the scenes and the way bits of dialog punctuate each other that's enjoyable. Though I didn't get much of a feel for any of the characters. I do like day-in-the-life kinds of stories, but I want to connect to something greater on some level -- either a oneness with a character, or a feeling of some wider message, or even just a cleverness of style or portrayal -- and I don't feel I really got that. But at least it was very readable.

For me, Budbill is at his best when he plays with words, even if such scenes might be slightly less realistic. For example, my favorite piece was the longest, the 19 page mini-play, "Fred and Judy: Let's Talk." One such word play goes like this:
Judy: You have trouble hearing, don't you?
Fred: No. I have trouble understanding.
J: Where was I?
F: Where you were.
J: What?
F: You were where you are.
J: What are you talking about?
F: Did you leave?
J: No.
F: Then you are where you were
and you were where you are.
J: What?
F: Right here! Right here!"

The scene presents a playful scenes with lots of word fun that also reveals two lonely people wanting to connect somehow. I still didn't really connect with the characters, but I had fun reading it.

Even though I didn't resonate with the scenes as they were presented on the page, I would be interested in seeing them performed. Budbill, in his afterword, describes this book as raw material that could be adapted for the stage in a number of ways. A great director and amazing actors could bring life to these words, making them resonate through collaborative creativity. And I was especially interested in Budbill's suggestion of playing the "Let's Talk" scene three times in an evening, first with a male/female pairing, then with two women, and then with two men. Sounds like a fascinating experiment, and one that I would be interested to see. ( )
  andreablythe | May 18, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a rather disappointing book. The author grew up in Cleveland, and perhaps that is where the drama of sorts is laid. I was never pulled into the dialogue about life as seen by its characters. I am not sure that it could be peformed as a play. ( )
  vpfluke | Nov 25, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
You know, I wanted to like this book. I liked the concept of the book, but as a reality, it didn't work for me. I enjoyed the section "Fred and Judy: Let's Talk", and almost feel as though the rest of the book was a bit of an afterthought around it. Somewhat Beckett-esque, I'd say, but not really my cup of tea. ( )
  orangewords | Oct 31, 2012 |
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A collection of dramatic monologues, dialogues, and poetic choral pieces spoken by characters who frequent a city park. These people know each other, whether through intimate relationships or by simply seeing one another there often. The soliloquies and verbal interactions, presented in the course of one day, provide insight into the variety of personalities at work and force readers to reflect on how much we can know--and learn--through our discussions. Also at issue is how much can be misunderstood.… (more)

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