cras culture's Reviews > The Light the Dead See: Selected Poems

The Light the Dead See by Frank Stanford
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Jan 29, 13

bookshelves: religion-mythos, totes-favorites
Read on January 29, 2013

"when a cow drinks water we get milk
when a snake drinks water we get bit".

this shit is some of the darkest poetry of our day. and boy is it great. i remember reading stanford in college, in springfield missouri not far from the ozarks that along with mississippi consist of the southern macabre that inform these poems endlessly. i forgot how brutal he is, tho it is also as thoughtful and beautiful as i recall. these are poems of stilted desire and rural intrigue not dissimilar and certainly not inferior to the hallowed lorca, but later in the 20th century, with the gore and dreamlike elements cranked up. stanford looks past and also forward straight into the wolf eyes of amerikan decay and boy is he spot on. you can play up the haunted angle of his young suicide or you can see it as literary macabre that stands on its own. stanford creates gorgeous nightmares out of endless southern childhood backwoods mystery. he is surely a stunning and memorable mythmaker and dare i say twisted surrealist. it is sure to stick with me as one of the best and most haunting collections i've ever stumbled across.
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