To Keep Love Blurry

BOA, dist. by Consortium. (American Poets Continuum Series, No. 135). Sept. 2012. c.110p. ISBN 9781934414934. pap. $16. POETRY
When formal poets are too attached to end rhyme and meter, their poems seem abrasive and simple, not musical. Good formal poetry is a paradox—the reader is never completely unaware of the rhyme, but it takes a back seat to the absorbing content. The majority of poems in this new work from Teicher (Brenda Is in the Room) employ form in the best sense of the word—as a frame, not a crutch. Teicher plays with prose, too, as illustrated by "On His Bed and No Longer Among the Living"—a series of meditations on memory and family, two of the book's key themes—and in "Beginnings of an Essay in Spite of Itself." Mostly, though, and when at his best, Teicher's poems are formal and—as a welcome bonus—amusing, as in "Father": "I'm no model, but do go for things you can touch—/souvenir snow globes, girls. You think too much."
VERDICT Readers who like formal poetry and have a sense of humor will certainly appreciate this book.
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