The Horse Show at Midnight; And, an Afternoon of Pocket Billiards: Poems

Henry Taylor, Author Louisiana State University Press $19.95 (148p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1763-7
This reissue of Pulitzer Prize-winning Taylor's ( The Flying Change ) first two books shows a poetic facility unusual in so young a writer (Taylor wrote The Horse Show at Midnight while an undergraduate). These poems reveal a mature mind at work; the tone is sedate, meditative and thoughtful. Taylor's language is not flashy; he renders prose-like sentences into verse, without much of the wordplay that makes poetry exciting to read. Taylor's work is the finest you can find in this style, but sometimes his careful attitude can hinder the powerful idea behind a poem, as with ``Riding a One-Eyed Horse.'' One of the best pieces in the collection, its first line bolts into the reader's mind: ``One side of his world is always missing.'' But after giving the feel of riding such a beast, the poem ends too cautiously: ``The heavy dark /will stay beside you always; let him learn / to learn against it. It will steady him / and see you safely through diminished fields.'' Taylor has a biting, dry wit that surfaces too infrequently: ``I crouch over my radio / to tune in the President. / thinking how lucky I am /not to own a television.'' cap and punct ok in this quote?/yes/pk Lines like these, although first published almost 20 years ago, still retain their relevance today. (May)
Reviewed on: 12/14/1992
Release date: 12/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 137 pages - 978-0-8071-1777-4
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