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Up Against Beyond: Selected Poems, 1994-2017…
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Up Against Beyond: Selected Poems, 1994-2017

by Jason Holt

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95950,433 (3.83)1
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    The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (HedewigSophien)
    HedewigSophien: Dark, insightful,thought provoking.
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
See full review: https://irenaioannou.com/?page_id=92

Experimental poetry with absence of titles—though the poet smartly addresses this peculiarity of his in page 119—punctuation and capitalization makes the navigation rather tenuous, but the playfulness in the syntax and the linguistic awareness compensates the reader.

His poems about writing are interesting, and so is his evolution into shorter forms. I recommend the anthology for thoughtful reading. The title of the anthology came from the poem:

the only place to go
is up against beyond
what other challenge worthy
what other meaning
less than war
more than game
between covers of book or bed ( )
  Afratula | May 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Interesting. I am not well-educated in poetry, so when I read it, I depend entirely on personal response (feeling, seeing clearly), not technical knowledge or comparison with other poets. Holt's poems are obscure, lack titles and punctuation, and feature too many made-up words that are often more irritating than evocative, but some of them work for me. Here's the start of one I re-read several times with great interest:

listen pig
and write the words I whisper thee
I am your best muse
formed by all you imagine
and mastering it
as the whip for your continuance
your struggle at the slipperied rest
of gainful sloth employment... ( )
  gbcmars | May 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book for the most part. The layout was nice but would have liked titles to the poems on the pages. I couldn't find the rhythms to the poems at all in the first part. The second part picked up, and I enjoyed it quite a bit more. It is a collection of poems over many years.

(1994) Poems selected from Fine in Kafka’s Burrow
(1999) from Memos to No One
(2003) from A Hair’s Breadth of Abandon
(2005) from Relics from an Open Vault
(2009) from Longstern Poems
(2012) from “A Brace of Sonnets”
(2014) from Inversed
New Poems

I will re-read in the future and see if my opinion changes. ( )
  Damien3 | May 6, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not kindle unlimited, not showing ebook at all though sent with selection of pdf or the other not mobi, but got it through librarything for possible review back in April, and because of finding this buried in email have spent all day clearing out my email. My apologies and then some for the delay.

This is a compilation or anthology or collection or whatever. The use of / to separate parts was distracting, not sure if that was because of the format or what, and couldn't find the rhythms to the poems at all in the first part. The second part {it all is somewhat divided in a way} was a bit better, more 'regular' style and no / so was easier to find some kind of rhythm, not any could live without but interesting even though some of the words weren't really quite in context of how normally used, and again the page format threw me off when the page ended but the poem hadn't. Assume that is not an issue in a non ebook format. The rhythmic 'difference' the writer is noted for definitely throws me off. The 3 stars is to match amazon's 3.

Suggestion: Buy in non ebook format, like poetry, really like poetry, not mind if there are totally made up words or actual words put together that don't normally go together. Be okay with 'rhythmically different', it kept throwing me off. ( )
  Key_Largo | May 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
See full review: https://infinitetext.blog/2017/05/02/up-against-beyond-poetry-review/

Up Against Beyond, as a collection, contains a total of 121 poems and is divided in eight sections.

(1994) Poems selected from Fine in Kafka’s Burrow
(1999) from Memos to No One
(2003) from A Hair’s Breadth of Abandon
(2005) from Relics from an Open Vault
(2009) from Longstern Poems
(2012) from “A Brace of Sonnets”
(2014) from Inversed
New Poems

Holt’s poetry is hyper-self-aware and playful with an intense sense of humour. For instance, the first new poem listed in section eight starts with:

“this is a poem/ I don’t/ title my poems/ not because/ I’m pretentious/ although/ I am pretentious…”

It’s the kind of poem that knows exactly what the reader expects to find from a Ph.D. University professor, and yet, it turns it on its head making fun of itself before the reader gets a chance to. Other poems sound like a proverb: “too many/ books/ Spoil/The prof” where the reader is left alone wondering what to make of it.

However, many of his other poems are so memorable and quotable told in a more sombre and philosophical tone, with the elegance one expects from a poet. Holt rewards readers and gives them the poetry they deserve. One of my favourite poems is this one (from which the title of the collection is derived):

“the only place to go

is up against beyond

what other challenge worthy

what other meaning

less than war

more than game

between covers of book or bed”

Most of Holt’s poetry is brief. The one proverb-like being indicative of that as it is in itself a single poem, alone on the page and each individual line is often one or two words with few exceptions. Clarke referred to Holt’s poems as “whimsical parades of terms and phrases” where one must puzzle his/her way through as a reader, akin to figuring out a Rubik’s cube, which is perhaps the best attitude to have, entering this collection.

What I particularly enjoyed about this collection is that excerpts are taken from the poet’s life spanning 23 years. We get to see a poet in various moods, and various spaces, using language as a tool for each occasion. I would recommend this work for anyone interested in reading new poetic voices and particularly those who are open to experimental poems. This collection also has a brief trailer on YouTube. ( )
  AndreeaMarin | May 2, 2017 |
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