Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Jewel in the Moment, by Richard Cody


(pb; 2009: poem anthology)

Review:

The Jewel in the Moment is one of my all-time favorite poetry anthologies. Admittedly, Cody's themes and preference for wry, succinct writing and "haikuish" often align with my own penned leanings, a factor that imbued my reading of his exceptional, cut-to-it versifying with a damn-near-halo-esque glow.

There were a few pieces here and there that I didn't entirely relate to (that's unavoidable with any poetry or story collection), but these pieces were still worth publishing, considering Cody's able takes on the subjects - there's not a meh work in the bunch, which is rare in anthologies, no matter how excellent.

Cody's themed pieces run along these lines: Big Sur, the blues ("For Skip James"), a family tragedy, insomnia, people and animals in urban and forest settings, quirk-ish humor, San Francisco and the brevity of one's youth.

"Here's a taste" - to use a Stephen Colbert phrase - of Cody's work:




Walking home tonight,

scent of jasmine, in the lot

a burst of sparrows!



and:


Old man with a leash -

at the other end a boy

kicking windfall nuts.



If you're into micro-form poetry, make this book your next purchase. It's that wonderful. I don't keep many books, because I don't have a lot of space to store my pop culture and published treasure, but I intend to keep this one.

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