Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Body of the World

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Body of the World

Article excerpt

Body of the World, by Sam Taylor. Ausable Press, September 2005. $14

Sam Taylor's first book of poetry is strange and delicious. Strange because it insists on the connectedness between individuals, objects, and the earth, not in a new-age or easy way, but in a Whitman-esque, often uncomfortable way: "There are many things I know are part of me / that I've never seen-like the sweet onion / grass on a French hillside . . . / . . . Also, electric cattle / prods rammed inside Tibetan nuns" ("For Love"). Delicious because it insists on the salve of musicality to calm its intensity (an in another way, heightens its intensity in a different direction): "he sat, as if keeping watch / over the whole brusque, swooned, seasick, siren night" ("Background") and "In her, / the world turns to watercolor, borders soft / and careless-the birds become branches, / their song, meadows, rolling, rising into silos" ("Walking with Chloe").

Taylor's is a disturbing book that challenges the reader to follow his leaps of imagination into unfamiliar territory. …

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