Rene Saller's Reviews > Duende

Duende by Tracy K. Smith
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's review
May 04, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 04 to 06, 2012

I'm horribly opinionated about poetry, and I hate being asked to read friends' poetry because it is so awkward when I hate it, which is a distinct possibility, given that I am so unaccountably picky. But I really do enjoy reading poetry that I like, and I liked these poems very much, particularly the ones in the middle section (II). I was a bit leery of the poem that references Zappa in the title and quotes a few Zappa lyrics, but I wound up liking that one, too. Smith won the James Laughlin award for this book, and more recently she won the Pulitzer Prize for Life on Mars. I plan to read that one, too, although I'm #4 in the library queue, so it might be a while, unless I buy the book first, which I just might do. I resolved recently not to buy so many books, since we have a serious shelving problem and certain rooms look like they're occupied by several generations of insane grad students, but poetry books are easier to justify because poems bear rereading, and books of poetry take up a lot less space than, say, 600-page British police procedurals that I'll surely never reread anyway.

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05/04/2012 page 50

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