Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (August 9, 2014)
Reviewed by: g emil reutter
Poet Sam Taylor’s Nude Descending an Empire is a collection driven by the moment with an occasional glance over his shoulder. Taylor writes poems that are created by surroundings and events, more often than not he avoids modern poetry’s preoccupation with self, although he dips his keyboard there every so often.
He brings us to old Europe into the dust and sand of places we may not want to be, to the heartland and swamps of North America. In the poem, Jataka Tales, he writes
I can’t stop dreaming of maps/ but from my life as a stone/ I have yet to speak.
And then there is his visit to China, when surrounded by locals he attempts to speak to them in their language, not knowing he was using the wrong tone. Poet and shit use the same structure but with different tones, so when asked what he does in the poem The Book of Poetry, he responds in the wrong tone, I am a shit man. I write shit and repeating it. A shit person, I write books of shit. Understand?
I am glad to say Taylor doesn’t write books of shit. A great example are a few words from the poem The Book of Winter, which knowingly or not, Taylor gives a nod to Sandburg.
In the pasture
heaven is falling
into the bare willows
and oaks, and cottonwoods,
over the vertical
of parked semis,
their white cabs
with painted blue
This collection of poems by Sam Taylor is worth the read, you should pick up a copy.
You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Nude-Descending-Empire-Poetry-Series/dp/0822963043
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA). http://gereutter.wordpress.com/