Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bookmarks -- Turtle Island

Turtle IslandTurtle Island by Gary Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I tried to read this book at least three times before I made it through. The poems are not tough to get through except that some are written in such a way that the reader has to know certain things to get them, and I still don't know what those things are. But thankfully this is the case for only a few of the poems.

While I did find many of Mr. Snyder's poems beautiful and engaging, a few of the poems were mere polemic. I even agree with most of the arguments he puts forth (despite winning the Pulitzer in 1975, much of what Snyder writes about is still relevant). And I know I've loved a few didactic poems in my life, I get uncomfortable when they are coupled work about simple life and love.

But these I might have stood had it not been for the unnecessary and judgmental prose section at the end titled "Plain Talk." It is anything but plain. These pieces only serve to pollute the waters, obscuring what otherwise could be great (and more powerful) art.

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