Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Exits: Selected Poems by Stephen C. Pollock - Review

This collection reminds me so much of traditional poetry, and yet there is a modern sensibility as well. The first poem I was really struck by was "Leaves," a tribute to a woman who has passed away. In this five stanza poem, we learn everything about this woman and her life. It's stunning to be able to depict a life so beautifully. I loved (and grinned while reading) "Tube." I am one of those people who rolls the tube and attempts to get every bit of toothpaste out. I can just imagine my toothpaste tube is the one in this poem. 
By far, my absolute favorite in this collection was "War Crimes." This stanza sums up so much in 10 lines...

I could not have known that day
of bodies burned, of lives lost,
or mused how cruelty and war
were seared in our DNA,
could not have seen what came before--
the camps, the gas, the Holocaust,
Tutsi corpses stacked in piles,
lynchings, like carnivals, greeted with grins,
the killing fields, the Salem trials, 
a village bombed, a child's limb. 

Sadly, but basically our world in a nutshell. I wish the beauty of words could change the world. 

This gorgeous collection which, in the poet's words, "relates to one or more aspects of mortality..." is a must-read for any lover of poetry. 

About Exits
Stephen C. Pollock’s debut collection, Exits, nods to the literary traditions of years past while simultaneously speaking to the present moment. Multilayered and musical, the poems in Pollock’s “Exits” (Windtree Press, June 29, 2023) have drawn comparisons to the work of Eavan Boland and Seamus Heaney. With bold imagery, attention to form, and a consistent throughline rooted in the theme of mortality, his collection responds to contemporary anxieties surrounding death and the universal search for meaning in life’s transience.

Advance Praise
“Full of wit, insight, and provocative imagery, Exits is a masterful collection by award-winning poet Stephen C. Pollock. Some are sonnets as artful as any by Shakespeare or Ben Jonson.” —IndieReader, 5.0 stars ★★★★★

“A unique and diverse group of harmonious poems…producing the multilayered depth that distinguishes lasting poetry.” —BookLife Reviews, EDITOR’S PICK

Exits is an accomplished, beautifully produced poetry chapbook. Readers of contemporary poetry will find a thought-provoking work of literary merit in these pages.” —BlueInk Review

“Pollock’s poetry is brilliant. The exploration of form is thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring. Many of Pollock’s pieces are reminiscent of Irish poets like Eavan Boland and Seamus Heaney.” —Kristiana Reed, Editor-in-Chief, Free Verse Revolution

About the Poet
Stephen C. Pollock is a recipient of the Rolfe Humphries Poetry Prize and a former associate professor at Duke University. His poems have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals, including “Blue Unicorn,” “The Road Not Taken,” “Live Canon Anthology,” “Pinesong,” “Coffin Bell,” and “Buddhist Poetry Review.” “Exits” is his first book.

Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3p1Asbm
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/125651368-exits

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1 comment:

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  1. Thank you so much for being on the blog tour for this collection.

- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf