Reneesarah's Reviews > The Drum That Beats Within Us

The Drum That Beats Within Us by Mike Bond
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My unhappiness with this book began with the introduction. In the introduction Mr. Bond states “Nothing important in life is learned rationally. What counts is what we learn emotionally.” That statement is so unbalanced and untrue as to bring the reader to a complete stop. What we learn emotionally is certainly of great value, but so is what we learn rationally. I would assume that Mr. Bond learned the the structure of the English language that he used to write that unfortunate sentence…rationally.

Mr. Bond, a little further in, quotes Horace, whom he states once said that “anyone who can look up at the stars and not feel the power of God probably cannot feel much at all.” What a prejudicial load of garbage. While I am not an atheist, I have family members who are. And let me assure you, Mr. Bond- they feel. They feel deeply. They love deeply. They revere the earth and are in love with her wonders, her majesty, her beauty. They just do not believe in God. I wish you did not feel the need to assume that atheists are lesser beings, that they are chastised others, in the introduction to your book.

There are some of his poems that I thought would benefit from tighter editing. In “Leaving Indian Caves, Montana” Mr. Bond demonstrates a fondness for saying “and of the” repeatedly. It is not needed. It could be eliminated and by doing so add strength to the lines.

Some of the shorter poems he wrote became my favorites. For example, “Nothing.” “Nothing/will always/be true.” There are at least two ways to read and interpret that poem, and that makes it interesting.

There were some poems where I just went: huh? Reading “Every good intention/hides a spine/of poison” I found myself deeply disagreeing with the author. I do not believe that every good intention hides a spine of poison.

Death figures in many of the poems. I began wondering if Mr. Bond has unresolved issues with death that he working out in his poetry. If that is the case, that is fine. I found myself wanting him to find that resolution… and I did not sense it happening by the end of the book.

I appreciated Mr. Bond’s love for the west and the natural world. His appreciation for and kinship with the earth echoes the writings of indigenous people about these topics. I was also somewhat reminded of Walt Whitman.

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book of poems. Mr. Bond is clearly a talented writer and some of the images in his poems are quite striking. If I was going to suggest anything to him as a writer it would be this: Go deeper. Go where the fear and the pain is and sit with it. There also will be the root of love.

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Reading Progress

December 7, 2018 – Started Reading
December 7, 2018 – Shelved
December 7, 2018 – Finished Reading

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