Synopses & Reviews
Bernard (Romanticism) showcases varied subjects and speakers in this uneven fifth collection delivering youthful remembrances as well as present day elegies and examinations of the natural and literary worlds. There are persona poems too: in distant tundras women shoot wolves in the face and in 20th century Italy an invented poet hides out in a hotel. But the book benefits most from homing in on private moments which ring truest and remain with the reader. In one of the collection's elegiac moments when the speaker intends "to drive/ and find that bar the one we liked/ in Jacksonville// and ask some man to go out back" it's the "beer sweat like pear juice" that lingers long after. In the book's opening poem the narrator declares "I miss my anger" and drags readers through furious vignettes in which a thrown "pot of hot coffee" just misses "a man's head and the black brown spatter stains" still remain years later. Readers will feel for the book's confessions as when in "Across the Lawn" the speaker witnesses the grim evidence of a beloved pet's untimely death. The collection falters when Bernard moves away from the personal and by the end the reader comes to miss these moments and their frankness fallibility and focus. (Mar.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
April Bernard explores subjects ranging from childhood anger to adult grief, from a museum of skulls to the Western movie genre. By turns playful, sorrowful, and sharp-edged, Brawl and Jag stands as Bernard s most personal and accessible collection to date.
I always lie when I always say I didn t know the gun was loaded