Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sharon Thesen's THE GOOD BACTERIA
The Good Bacteria, Sharon Thesen's 2006 poetry compilation, visits the highs and lows of her previous efforts. There's an intimate engagement with the natural world and with friends and observed strangers. Images are used as a stimulus for quirky and startling (though sometimes annoying) personal wit only tangentially tied to the original sight. "Eclipse of the Sun", unlike much from Thesen's opus, is strong and supple start to finish, integrated in thought, trope, and construction. And I love these lines from "Oh, Hello Count, How Are You, Do Come In": "ants cart a corpse. The hourglass/of their home is a sand volume". Either this volume was rushed to print, though, or the author hasn't managed to discriminate enough to shave and shelve, because diaristic prose -- on trivial subjects, no less -- pop up like running commentary on a news feed. "The Day Lady Di Died" is only one such example. An uneven book, but an entertaining one, and occasionally memorable.