I started this blog with good intentions (what road am I on? why, isn’t that Dante over there?), among them to post reviews of books as I read them. Now I am faced with two stacks of books built up since The Perpetual Bird launched on October 22, 2006. I’ve reviewed a lot of books but forgotten to tag them as “reviews,” so only four show up under that tag. (Another little task I need to perform.) But the real problem is that many of the books I enjoy speak so much for themselves that I don’t feel moved to play literary critic; books that strike me as a waste of my time to read are usually also a waste of time to critique, unless they raise issues that seem to deserve discussing. So, in the interest of getting through my stacks, I’m going to adopt a thumbs-up, thumbs-down approach, like a cheesy movie reviewer:
I have three levels of up thumbs and only one down because I’m basically a sunny person and prefer to register my relative enthusiasm rather than my relative disappointment. In fairness, though, I’ll always include an excerpt from the book in question.
I hope it’s needless to add that I don’t mean this approach to denigrate any of the books under “review,” only to help anyone who’s familiar with this blog pick up a lead here and there that they might find useful. For me, one of the great services poetry bloggers provide is to clue me in to poets I might never hear about otherwise. In some small way recommendations and dissuasions help to remind us that what looks like poetic warfare is really more like arguments among members of a far-flung and fractious clan. Of course, it’s important to note that about 40% of all homicides occur within families….