16
Jan
13

Juliet Patterson’s The Truant Lover (2006)

Over the next few weeks or months, I will post all my reviews (“Tom’s Celebrations”) that appeared in Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose (formerly Redactions: Poetry & Poetics) up to and including issue 12. After that, my reviews appeared here (The Line Break) before appearing in the journal. This review first appeared in issue 8/9, which was published circa April 2007.

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Juliet Patterson's – The Truant LoverJuliet Patterson’s poems in the The Truant Lover (Nightboat Books) have the feel of elliptical poetry; however, while elliptical poetry makes the reader feel like they are missing a necessary part of a story or chunk of information that fills in the blanks of the narrative, The Truant Lover has a back story that is given to us by the book’s title and by the prefatory poem, “Note.” As a result, the reader can be engaged in the book’s happenings & not feel like they have just walked into a movie midway through. Because of this strategy, there is an elliptical feel (which I enjoy, as I enjoy how elliptical poetry thinks despite the missing information) without too much head scratching. And so the book works because we are in a collection of poems that revolve around “a meaning inseparable from its absence.” A book revolving around absence & wholeness & the imaginary & the real, or “of all that withdraws / & remains.” What do I mean? I mean that “some of the worst things in your life / never happen.” That is how the book works: through vague narratives & tight lyrics.//

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Patterson, Juliet. The Truant Lover. Beacon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2006.//


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