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You can't bury them all: Poems by Patrick…
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You can't bury them all: Poems

by Patrick Woodcock

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First things first: I know nothing about contemporary poetry, especially contemporary poetry geared towards adults. Sure I can recite Disobedience by A.A. Milne and most of Alligator Pie, but grown-up poems -- I think the last grown-up book I read with poetry in it was A Poet and bin-Laden, which seemed to have been written under the illusion that there simply wasn't enough poetry in novels about Central Asian politics (it was kind of like reading Tolkien except the inclusion of poetry was even more baffling).

So I know nothing about poetry.

And I read a book of poetry.

And said I'd review it.

Even though I don't know what I'm doing.

Can I end the review here?

I'm going to say I liked it. I'm going to say the poems were interesting. Divided into three (really four, but one section has one poem only) sections, one about Iraqi Kurdistan, one about the Northwest Territories, one about Azerbaijan, within the sections, the poems inter-relate, if only due to geography. I'm going to say I got a sense of each of the locales, even though there was no plot to weave together. This is big for me -- I love plot. I love stories. The stories here were more ephemeral. Maybe they didn't exist. Maybe it was negative space I put stories into. Or maybe the stories were deep and I only skimmed the surface, not realizing their depths.

As I said, I don't know much about poetry.

Some of the poem rhymed though. I do have a great appreciation for rhyming poems.

Also, Patrick Woodcock seems to know a lot of kids to dedicate poems to. Not that the poems he dedicated to these kids would be of much interest, necessarily to kids. A kid would probably rather Alligator Pie. Maybe they'll appreciate them when they're older.

I think I'll end the review now here.

You can't bury them all by Patrick Woodcock went on sale April 12, 2016.

I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  reluctantm | Jun 12, 2016 |
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Patrick Woodcock has spent the past seven years engaging with and being shaped by the people, politics, and landscapes of the Kurdish north of Iraq, Fort Good Hope in the Northwest Territories, and Azerbaijan. His powerful new collection offers a poetry that simultaneously explores hope and horror while documenting the transformative processes of coping. You can't bury them all follows the narratives we construct to survive the tragic failures of our humanity to their very end: everything that's buried by snow, dirt, and ash, just like everything that's buried by politics, homophobia, sexism, racism, religion, and history is resurrected, demanding to be heard and addressed. In Woodcock's poetry, how we deal with what resurfaces is the key. What do those who suffer really mean to those who have abandoned them to small, conscience-soothing charitable donations or the occasional tweet? How can the poet, or anyone else, sleep at night knowing homosexuals are being thrown off building tops, after one steps into a hole and finds an abandoned corpse in an Azeri cemetery, or after the elders of an Aboriginal community are left helpless against those who only want to exploit them? Still, You can't bury them all demonstrates that the world is not just the horrific place the media often portrays. In each of the worlds he touches, Woodcock discovers a spirit and strength to celebrate.… (more)

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ECW Press

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