Mmars's Reviews > Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty by Tony Hoagland
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's review
Mar 09, 2012

it was amazing

On Valentine's Day PBS' "Newshour" included a reading of Hoagland's "Romantic Moment" from this collection. Not sure how I'd missed him, but that was my introduction and I knew I needed to read him. So I started with this collection because of that poem.

Love this man's off-the-wall thoughts. It would be quite a trip to worm into his mind to study his stream of consciousness. Unlike many of his contemporary peers who try to be uber-artsy, Hoagland pulls it off and makes sense. Fascinating sense. I think "Snowglobe" is a good example. It's just plain brilliant. Just a litte ol' snowglobe turns into a musing on macroeconomics. But he sets you up, he tells you this is no ordinary snowglobe. He turns a few phrases, demonstrates masterly word choice, and next thing you know....he's got you thinking about the order of the world.

A "Cement Truck" inspires him to write it as a metaphor of poetry, (and OMG is it good) and then near the end he decides it's a mistake but he's put so much work into it and well, I won't spoil the ending. But again, it's brilliant.

And then there's "Romantic Moment" which includes this -

"and if I were a bull penguin right now I would lean over
and vomit softly into the mouth of my beloved"

Well now, tell me, where does a critique go from there?

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