Monday, 31 December 2018

Crush by Richard Siken


Crush by Richard Siken
Published in America by Yale University Press in April 2005.

How I got this book:
Downloaded for free via On The Other Side Of Reality

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Richard Siken's Crush, selected as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession and love. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism. In the world of American poetry, Siken's voice is striking. In her introduction to the book, competition judge Louise Gluck hails the "cumulative, driving, apocalyptic power, [and] purgatorial recklessness" of Siken's poems. She notes, "Books of this kind dream big. . . . They restore to poetry that sense of crucial moment and crucial utterance which may indeed be the great genius of the form."

Crush was enthusiastically reviewed at On The Other Side Of Reality as 'one of my all-time favorite poetry collections' so I was keen to experience Siken's work for myself. Crush isn't a particularly long book and I comfortably read it in an evening, however I am not sure I successfully understood what I read! Even the poems I revisited are cloudy. I appreciate Siken's use of graphic imagery and the repetitive structure of some of the phrases where their meaning is subtly altered as the poem progresses. Overall though reading Crush felt like eavesdropping on a conversation in a language in which I am only partially fluent. Sometimes I had flashes of clarity and felt I could envisage just what Siken had written about. Most of the time I felt as though the meaning was just out of reach. I got the gist, but completely missed the nuances. A shame


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Richard Siken / Poetry / Books from America

9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Also, the cover grosses me out. Not quite sure why.

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    2. It does kinda look like he's been sucking his thumb. At least I think it's a thumb :-/

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  2. I'm sorry you didn't like this one. I don't read much poetry.

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    1. I go through phases, but this one wasn't an incentive to pick up more

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  3. That's too bad. I would love to get into poetry but I find every time like the poet isn't doing it right or I don't understand what is going on. I say the poet isn't doing it right because poetry in my mind needs to rhyme. Blame Dr. Seuss! Happy New Year 🎉

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    1. You wouldn't like Crush either! No rhymes and no 'proper rhythm either ;-)

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  4. I'm sure you did better at 'getting it' than I ever could. I find unless its childrens' poetry by Shell Silverstein or old Tennyson, I'm lost. :)

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    1. I liked his imagery, but the tangents kept losing me.
      I don't think I've ever read Tennyson :-(

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