Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Vacationland by Ander Monson

There is a lot of repetition in Vacationland, but I don't mind, overall. There are three poems titled Vacationland, one in each section of the book. The subjects of the poems and certain lines and concepts are repeated in different poems too. Monson's favorite subjects seem to be snow, scantron tests, axes, trucks, blood, streetlamps, ash.

There are so many elegies in this book. Most are serious for dead friends, and the others are for more general subjects, like luggage, or are love poems disguised as elegies, like "Elegy for the End of Weather."

I love Monson's titles, although it sometimes feels like they don't exactly match the poems. One type of poem he does that I dislike is a poem with bullets down the left edge of the page. Those don't work for me (I think there are only 2 of them in the book).

In poetry, I am used to snow being delicate, but Monson shows us the roughness of living someplace that is cold all the time. I like seeing this side of snow, especially since this is only my second winter here in Massachusetts, and it feels like snow will be on the ground forever.

Monson has some unusual linebreaks, and images. I like them. He is a lot of fun to read. I like seeing elegies done a different way.

My favorites from the book:
Outline Towards and Antidote: III
What is Less Than Fire is Less Than X

Still Life With Half of Walter Mitty

Here are some sites with more of his poems:
Web Del Sol has links to his poems at the bottom.
Konundrum Literary Review published three poems from Vacationland.


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