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17+ Works 441 Membros 4 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Tony Barnstone is the Albert Upton Professor of English at Whittier College and the author of thirteen books, including Sad Jazz: Sonnets, published by Sheep Meadow.

Includes the name: trans. Tony Barnstone

Obras por Tony Barnstone

Associated Works

Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei (1989) — Tradutor, algumas edições; Tradutor — 53 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I didn’t like this as much as I liked Killer Verse from this series. The poems in here are about on par, I think, with a pleasing variety of styles and themes and cultures. (Though very few poems from outside the Western world and quite a lot of English literary canon types.) However, the variation between the poems didn’t seem as wide and apart from a handful that evoked a sort of melancholy or eeriness, I didn’t feel a lot of emotion reading them.

Favourites include “Der Totentanz“, “All Hallows Eve“, “The Death of Dracula”, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, “Goodbye to a Poltergeist”, “Gas-Lamp Ghost”, “The Wood of Suicides”, “The Whale”, and “Isis Unveiled.”

I’m not sure what else I can say about this. It’s well curated apart from the global diversity issue and the editors have done some interesting things pairing poems on the same subject or even versions of the same poem side by side. Enjoyable, even with my usual problem of having to reread poems to figure out what’s going on, and worth picking up if you’re curious, but it’s not a whole lot more than that. Killer Verse was a lot more mentally and emotionally challenging.

Warnings: Death, murder, sexual assault. One poem about the Holocaust. Possible romantically mistranslated Ancient Egyptian. Several poems that appears to simultaneously romanticize Indigenous Americans and portray them as horrifically pagan. One poem referencing the AIDS epidemic.

… (mais)
NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
I have much the same thoughts about this collection as I did about the last Pocket Poets book from these editors, Poems Dead and Undead. It’s fine, a nice mix of poems and styles, with maybe a few more this time that appeal to my taste in poetry, but it suffers from the same narrow focus. There are a lot of Western monsters, creatures out of classical mythology, and movie monsters, and a fair number of Western canon, classic lit type sources (Poe, Shakespeare, Beowulf, etc.), and not a lot of, for instance, monsters from minority cultures.

I was also disappointed by the inclusion of human monsters. Not because there aren’t monstrous humans—there’s a serial killer in the collection, after all—but because their definition of “monster” includes loners and disfigured people. I’d have liked to see more meditations on actually horrible people, or minority voices about oppression, instead of the kind of tame and questionable humans the editors included.

There’s also this thing the editors do which is neat in small doses, of putting poems on the same topic side by side for comparison. Two poems about vampires or mermaids? Great. Interesting. Five poems? Gets to be a little boring and makes me wonder why they felt including that many was important.

My last couple poetry reviews, I’ve cited poems from the collections I enjoyed. I don’t think there really are any this time? I mean, okay, it opens with “The Day the Saucers Came” by Neil Gaiman, which I’ve always liked, and I’ve already mentioned Shakespeare and Beowulf, but beyond that? There’s nothing particularly memorable.

Overall, this gets a solid “this was fine” and from now on, I’m going to check poetry editors because clearly, this duo makes me grumpy.


To bear in mind: Contains some poems about monstrous actions, including murder, sexual assault, cannibalism, and the deliberate spreading of HIV.
… (mais)
NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
As someone who did not care for the popular new sciency cheap spiritual stuff at the press which published this, i was amazed to find this spare but totally satisfying anthology of witty and wise literary criticism as well translated as selected and only wish i could buy another version with the chinese side by side. (I would love to publish such a book, for bilingual books are now easy and therefor cheap, to print.) Note: you need not kknow or be interested in chinese to enjoy this book. i recommend it to anyone who loves writing and ideas. Do you like Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest? Do you like Sei Shonagon? You'll like this (and my books, too, for that matter).… (mais)
keigu | Mar 3, 2007 |
The sonnets in this collection describe the very painful end of a long romantic relationship. A whole book full of break-up poetry might sound like just another egocentric self-indulgence of the most adolescent kind. But read in small parts, the poems are sharp, clear, and full of lyrical imagination. Especially if you are feeling blue and slightly bitter yourself, these poems are just the thing.
DawnFinley | Jul 2, 2006 |



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