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Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross (National Poetry Series) Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 25, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: National Poetry Series
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142004510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142004517
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Yakich has worked in the European Parliament in Brussels and has degrees in political science, West European studies, and poetry.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dee Casalaina on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mark Yakich's poetry is like the first strawberry of a delayed spring. That blessed tang. Yes! This is what your palate craved in the dark months after Clementines quit tasting like their name. For the jaded winter appetite, sustained on broths and highly seasoned root vegetables, it is a singular delight.
Singular, not simple-many of the poems are accessible in their unadorned language, yet difficult to get the mind around in a casual read-through. Whether the reader succeeds or remains puzzled, each poem is an individual to appreciate.
Subjects range from love and the conundrums of relationships to a short meditation on raisins. Tone varies from playful, as in a bawdy rope-skipping ditty, ("Songs of Salience and Ambience") to melancholic, ("Old Celery") to matter-of-fact: "A Lover's Education" is as plainspoken as an overheard conversation, but includes, and concludes with, lines as memorable as Donne's.
Girding the book is a sweet-tart but compassionate humor you might expect in a Jewish grandmother. Although wry, it is not cynical. The voice is not one of a young adult bitter upon discovering that life and love are not what he'd thought they would be. It reveals an acceptance of the way things are, with the vigor of one who refuses to take it sitting down.
There are plenty of good poets working today, but you'd be hard pressed to find a book of poems more surprising and delightful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Felicia Sullivan on August 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Summer Lopez for Small Spiral Notebook

This eye-catching title turns out to be an apt name for a book of poems that are not similar in style or form, yet form a cohesive and satisfying contemplation on love and life. Each poem in the collection captures a moment, a feeling, and preserves it with words that are fresh, unexpected, and perfect. Mark Yakich is bursting with talent, and this book richly deserves its selection for the National Poetry Series.

Some of Yakich's poems are sparse, needing only a few words to pierce through to the marrow of experience. Others feel more dense, like there is more to say than can be managed by the medium of poetry. Yet either way it is the sharpness of the words that touches you, the images Yakich uses to capture love in its wonder and its horror, like these in "Two-Pack Solitaire: "Like a perfectly potholed surface / We are / Or a cup of wine / Crushed." The book is full of pairings and twosomes, be they fathers and daughters or lovers, and this duality finds expression in pleasing couplets like "Two foreign idioms / in a crowded train," from "How They Existed in the World." In this way these poems chronicle the ebb and flow of romance, capturing the twin demons of desire and regret, as well as hope and disappointment.

The unrelated individuals conjured up by the title inhabit the poems in these pages, yet underneath their apparent dissimilarities, they all share in the struggle to find meaning in love and life. Mark Yakich is not providing answers, but his poems give clarity to the questions and beauty to the wondering.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Denise Williamson on September 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This collection is full of love poems for people who don't like love poems but like love. I read a lot of first books of poems and they're the usual "who am I" collections. They're fine. But this first book is different. The title -- "Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross" -- could describe a bunch of people waiting for a light at a crosswalk to change (as the note in the back implies), but what the title really alludes to is death. Unrelated people waiting to cross over into death. The human condition in which we're all refugees from a place we try again and again to recall/dream. Instead of a first book of "self-identity" poems, this one is full of multiple identities. Characters. More along the lines of Pound's Personae or Yeats's painted players. What I mean to say is: find this book and see for yourself why "The Teller is the Only Survivor of the Fairy-Tale Ending."
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More About the Author

Mark Yakich is a poet, writer, and teacher in New Orleans.