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Taste of Cherry

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In Kara Candito’s prize-winning debut collection a “garish/human theatre” comes to life against richly textured geographic and psychic landscapes. These poems are high-speed meditations on a world where Walter Benjamin meets the “glitzy chain-link of Chanel scarves” and Puccini’s Tosca meets the din of the Times Square subway station. Ferociously witty and intensely lyrica ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Bison Books
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Sep 20, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: poems
I really fell in love with this book, and it's not because Candito is in a workshop with me just now at Bread Loaf, but because of her acute sense of structure and her sense of choice and specificity, some examples of which I just had to copy down:

"How we swore we'd drive out to Los Angeles / where the fog unzips its white dress"

"run as fast as I can across the parquet / while football players who call // each other faggot fire rubber balls / the color of scabs at my legs"

In the poem, "Barely Le
Oct 29, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
I don't have a great deal of experience with poetry in general, but I adored these poems. I'm not sure I would particularly call them lyrical (not saying they aren't, but they just don't feel like that to me), but Candito is definitely a master of rhythm. Each of the poems has its own flow and the pull of that is compelling. I also am fascinated by Candito's words. Changing a single word in any of the poems seems like it would destroy the effect utterly. There is a slipperyness in there. I kept ...more
Elevate Difference
Dec 13, 2009 Elevate Difference rated it really liked it
One of the best ways to support awareness and understanding of taboo topics is to display them in a way that is non-threatening and invites discussion. Kara Candito’s Taste of Cherry is just such a collection of poetry. Bringing to life love affairs in everything from Greek myth to the HBO series Carnivale, Candito familiarizes the reader with both bizarre and mundane romantic entanglements. The collection’s chemistry is successful because she isn’t dependent on smut to get her point across: sen ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Mari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Amazing, vivid, sensual, concrete -- this is the poetry I aspire to write. Will definitely be rereading.
Sep 13, 2010 Kent rated it really liked it
I'm interested in how Candito observes the power that accumulates to a person because of sex, and her wonder that this could be the case. Taste of Cherry seems primarily to be a chronicle of this realization, and then a marveling at its truth. I think, though, it gets caught in that place. It chooses to be a sexy book, focused on the many exotic ways that sex can be alluring, and powerful. I would like to see why that should matter to the speaker. What of her learning about this position makes h ...more
Oct 26, 2009 Kyle rated it it was amazing
I'm still thinking of these poems well over a year after I read them -- that should tell you something, I suppose.

The qualities I can think of to describe Candito's poems feel somewhat contradictory. The images are stirring but understated, the language precise but ambiguous, and the subject matter scintillating but everyday, specific but universal. Candito is a skilled writer, and I enjoyed the opportunity to move out of my comfort zone and read poems "for fun."
Dec 02, 2009 Shana rated it liked it
Many thanks to Good Reads for gifting me this book in their giveaway. I do not often read poetry and found Taste of Cherry a welcome deviation from my usual reading. I frequently found myself more drawn to Candito's skillful use of language and imagery than to to the actual subject matter which she was discussing. Candito has expanded my appreciation of poetry and reminded of the beauty and appeal that masterful writing can offer.
Oct 20, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it
The poems within this book are very descriptive, raw, and provocative. The poems speak of emotions and topics that are often considered distasteful and inappropriate, but the way in which the words within each poem are written and arranged create a tone of wanting to expose these emotions and require that the reader address and explore each emotion and concept to the deepest extent.
Jan 22, 2013 Aran rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I like a lot of the poems in the second section--"Carnivale" and "Epic Poem". Sexy and dark, a lot of the poems. Feels a little forced sometimes, but in "The Fitting" and "On the Occasion" it works.
Nov 04, 2009 Josh rated it liked it
Candito's poems seduce us as they reflect on sexuality breaking through the surface. Her journey drifts from exoticism to sordidness, in a sweet-sour blend of high and low culture.
Nov 09, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
In short, amazing. Raw, sensual, shocking--the poems sprawl over a variety of landscapes and eras, exploring the twisted and tender psyches of various speakers. Could not put it down.
Sep 02, 2009 Jim is currently reading it
Shelves: bread-loaf
Haven't gotten very far into this one but Candito's poems in the new Diode knocked my socks off.
Robb Todd
This collection used words to twist around my insides. I love it when that happens.
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