Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kevin Connolly's HAPPYLAND

"Lake, Ocean" is a terrific poem, a contemporary Stevensian weave on perception. "An Ecology" is another gem, and the title sequence which ends the book is an effective departure. Are there out-of-control flourishes in Happyland, indulgences that don't always translate to the reader? Yes, but don't be quick to give up after a first read or two. A lot of those seemingly jumbled, haphazard narratives make more sense -- in fact, in "Lake, Ocean" and others, achieving an autotelic authority -- than many other efforts by flat, linear, anecdotal poets.

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