Top positive review
At his best, he is emotionally and philosophically moving
on December 17, 2014
Jack Spicer was so ahead of his time that only now is he quickly becoming one of America's most studied poets. This collection (titled after his supposed last words), My Vocabulary did this to Me, is a showcase of both his previously published and unpublished work, giving the reader a strong sense of understanding the shift in poetic nature Spicer makes over time.
While I appreciated almost all of Spicer's poetic musings throughout his career, I find him at his most touching and real in his letters to Lorca and others. These particular moments help reveal what is so important about Spicer as a writer: his own dilemma of what constitutes poetry. Whether or not this reveal of what he defines and sees as poetry strengthens or weakens the arguments for his other poems that do not adopt prose is left up to the reader, then, as one can not help but analyze his poetry in terms of his attempts to define the art in some way.
For those interested in writing, reading, and understanding philosophies on contemporary poetry, Spicer is a necessary read, and one certainly worth while. At his best, he is emotionally and philosophically moving, at his worst, he's still interesting.