James's Reviews > Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry

Poems Seven by Alan Dugan
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Apr 13, 09

Recommended for: People who've outgrown Bukowski.

Once was a time when I (like a lot of people my age) could not bear to read rhymed or form poetry, which stank of establishmentarianism and repression. To a 14 year old in the nineties, Eliot looks stodgy and conservative and Bukowski looks edgy and inventive.

In accordance with common wisdom I find myself getting more and more aesthetically conservative as time goes by, but Dugan is the one poet from my youth who sticks with me. The sad-bastard drunk pieces haven't aged too well but the more evocative stuff is really incredible. "Memorial Service for the Invasion Beach Where the Vacation in the Flesh is Over" is as good a treatise on man's inability to face death as any poet has written.
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