To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross (National Poetry Series) Paperback – May 25, 2004
|New from||Used from|
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.