Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Beginning of the Fields by Angela Shaw
Tupelo Press, 2009. Dang! This book knows how to make an entrance. Last AWP I was browsing the Tupelo Press table and asked if they had one book in particular that they would recommend. Without hesitation the entire group exploded like “OMG!!! This one!!!” Given both their reaction and Terrance Hayes’ description of Angela Shaw as “magical” on the back cover, I figured I should go ahead and shell out the dough.
I’m so, so glad I did. The Beginning of the Fields is simply glorious. Like, it glows. It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a poet who experiences the world in Angela Shaw’s sexy, generous, and even hilarious flavors and hues. Take, for instance, these bon-bons: “A tree full of pink/ wishes, each bud clenched/ in its private/ tantrum,” “fishes suck at the rough/ creek bottom, muttering/ leftovers, leftovers,” “a haunting of clocks crowds/ his walls, each one holding its stale breath,” “The land an animal they broke, rode bareback.” This book may take place in fields, forests and old homes, but it belongs on the red carpet of poetry.
Posted by Anne Barngrover at 3:10 PM