OF SNAILS AND SKYLARKS by Christy Brown

OF SNAILS AND SKYLARKS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a book of poems which, while not sophisticated technically or in terms of vision, are enjoyable in their simplicity and directness. The overall message is clear: one can overcome the gravest personal circumstances by remaining humble and open. (Brown, you'll recall, is the multiply handicapped author of Down All the Days.) In ""Constancy"": "" . . . There are no more subtle ways I can speak to you/ save in halting verse like now/ begging your charity. . . ."" Indeed, the book abounds with an attitude of grateful acceptance toward the everyday events of love, friendship, family--all depicted in straightforward language which precludes sentimentality: ""I could certainly live without you if I tried;/ it is the trying that is so unthinkable. . . ."" Brown's poetry is that of man defining his identity, and therefore often has the quality of a journal entry, a glimpse into the most personal aspects of his life. This can lead to non-stop rumination which weakens the tension of a line, turning poetry to prose, as in ""Terminal Thoughts"": ""Death bores the life out of me. . . . It no longer intrigues or invites speculation./ It happens so often it has become monotonous./ It is an overplayed exercise in melancholy/ akin to sex in its inflated reputation. . . ."" However, the book is enjoyable in its use of simple language and its very lack of pretense.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1978
Publisher: Stein & Day