Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (January 19, 2015)
Review by g emil reutter
Some folks are comfortable with war as a basic function of humanity. There has never been a time when a war wasn’t going on somewhere. In fact when people are not engaged in war they normally turn on each other fighting over property, sex, love, glory, and greed. Humanity masks our jungle with the cover of civility. How civil? It may depend on what each individual considers civil.
Beth Bachmann is not comfortable with war. This collection is an honest reflection of the effects of war without any hyperbole. Bachmann reveals a beautiful compassion in these poems. There is no doubt in these poems that there is a cleansing coupled with the disturbance of war. Bachmann throughout this collection utilizes line breaks and pauses to breathe life into each of these poems.
Bachmann is very adept at utilizing language yet it is in the basic realism of her poems she draws the reader in:
Who belongs to this dead? Its leg
Is confused with another leg. Toss it
In the pile for sorting. Something’s missing.
Don’t let the dog walk off with my bones. Who
put out the red bowl of water? I need that
fire. The wood for gripping. The twisting
bandages. Barber, there are rabbits in my tulips.
Hand me the bag of human hair. Keep the teeth.
In this heat, too much blood burns.
Bachmann conveys the violence and survival of war in this poem that says so much in just a few words. In war too much blood burns, there is a sorting of body parts when collected. It is just a brutal fact. Pick up a copy of Do Not Rise, you may not be comfortable with it, but comfort is not what this book is about.
You can check out the book here:
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. He can be found at https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/