Here’s the deal: You are perfectly welcome to tell me that you hate poetry, as long as I’m allowed to hit you upside the head with a copy of Seattle poet Hannah Faith Notess’s collection The Multitude in response.
I’m asking this permission because Notess’ work effectively counters every single one of your arguments against poetry. You say you don’t like it because you think it’s too vague? Many of Notess’ poems are as clear and narrative-obsessed as anything you’ll hear on This American Life. Think poetry hasn’t been relevant since the days of powdered wigs and witch-burnings? Notess writes beautifully, and often, about video games. “Yoshi (A Pastoral)” is a tribute to Mario’s dinosaur steed that ends: “Dearest friend return/to the place we first met/and I will be reborn/and reborn and reborn.” Read the rest of this review in Seattle Weekly’s print edition or online at The Seattle Review of Books.
Paul Constant is the co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read daily books coverage like this at seattlereviewofbooks.com.