- Paperback: 142 pages
- Publisher: 1st World Publishing (October 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1421891352
- ISBN-13: 978-1421891354
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,093,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Schooled Lives: Poems by Two Brothers Paperback – October 15, 2009
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Their Iowa small town heritage evidences itself throughout the volume: one of Steve's poems confronts that head on, "I grew up in a small town/and I'll never live it down,/a willing victim to the tyranny/of a Middle Western memory." But the key is to be a "willing victim" so that, even though the poems most times begin in regionalized memory, they reverberate with much broader appeals and evidence as well the schooling of their "schooled lives." The Benson brothers have both been teachers and are as well students of poetry, and so one finds triolets, and rondeaux, and haiku sprinkled in as well as allusions and thematic play with dozens of other poets. The poems have the deceptive simplicity of the poems of James Hearst or Robert Frost. In one poem Steve imagines the audiences for a well-thumbed book of poetry to be a weightlifter with glasses, the grandpa farmer resting from his bucking tractor, and the strong working mother. Certainly the volume is accessible to all these working class folks, but undercurrents of allusion and learning will appeal to more academic audiences as well.