Showing posts with label Jim Bennett. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Bennett. Show all posts

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Jim Bennett's New "Fortress: Poems 6"

At last, Canadian Poet Jim Bennett has published a new poetry book, Fortress: Poems 6. 

I was delighted to receive a copy from the author. Below is my Review of this delightful (and as usual, challenging) volume and I am proud to add his special poetry to his previous five.

 My Review:
After an extended hiatus, we can finally welcome another volume, the sixth, in Jim Bennett’s poetry collection. This one, I felt, was earthier than the previous ones, lusty and even outright sexy. There is also a bit of political tongue-in-cheek, as in ReForms of Intelligence. All encompass Bennett’s usual complexity of thought. Through his mastery, he makes one think, imagine a parallel to one’s own life. He is sly in his choice of words and verse, forcing you to re-read those poems until you get it – sometimes maybe not.
Starting out with Possession, I felt I had gone home again without estrangement of place or time. Silence is brief and profound, whereas Chorus adds a dose of sex; as do several other poems.

The book ends with Fortress of Solitude. To me, a contemplation of a waning life: reflective, sad even, resigned, yet gratified to have been witness to it.

And that is how my first reading of this 70-poem volume left me: Gratified – and most glad that I can add Poems 6 to Bennett’s previous five poetry books on my shelf. But it won’t gather dust there, for the depth and complexity of those poems cry out to be re-read and re-discovered time and again – as they will be for sure.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Poetry Perfection

My Review of Jim Bennett's 
Cold Comes Through, 
Poetry Book 1

Writing—and reading—true poetry is often associated with admitting vulnerability. Reading it, you have to let it in. Writing it is a lot more arduous: You have to let it out. And letting it out, Jim Bennett does with Cold Comes Through, Book 1 of his five-volume poetry series.

Having read Bennett’s poetry series in reverse order, his first volume—I find—is the most melancholy as it deals with loss, grieving and remembrance. Death hovers nearby, cloaked in autumn leaves, or the heartbreaking throes of Alzheimer’s. But Bennett’s insight into human nature always treats the most dire of his themes with dignity and grace.

After finally reading Cold Comes Through, I know I shall do so again, as I will surely re-read the entire series from time to time. Poetry creates a cultured haven from the blustery world that trammels us daily. Jim Bennett’s poems are some of the best I have had the pleasure ever reading.
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Jim Bennett's 5-Volume Poetry is available here:

Jim Bennett's Poetry Series is also available in Paperback on Lulu:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Behind the Lime Kilns, Poems 2, by Jim Bennett

Almost a year ago, on November 28, 2013, I featured the Canadian poet Jim Bennett, and then began to read and review his work. For some reason, I read his volumes in reverse order from Poems 5 downward (possibly my pithy nod to controversy).
Now, that I arrived at Behind the Lime Kilns, Poems 2, I realize how much had changed over the course of this journey. Regressing, as you will, I find this earlier work gentler, albeit still suggestive–whereas the later volumes show a decidedly harsher side of dreams, of life itself.
What made this poet shed his inhibition? What emboldened him to share? Whatever it was, it works for Bennett and his poetry.

In his foreword to Behind the Lime Kilns, Poems 2, Bennett states: “Poetry is about Truth.”
Indeed. Plus, I think, it is about feelings, and awe; the awe I feel when I come across true poetry. Not words that rhyme in silly cadence, spouting mundane happenings (we’ve all done that); but poems that throng about your very soul, rattle your conscience, stab at your heart. Such is the poetry of Jim Bennett.
Origami, the first poem in Behind the Lime Kilns, is—to those who know, or those who have refused to forget—deliciously suggestive in its simplicity (and this poet definitely has not forgotten). Power Hits indeed hits hard those who are alone, whereas Keyboard and Toothsome Wishes lifts the corner on a bit of wicked humor as, at last, the theme poem Behind the Lime Kilns causes you to breath, “Oh, no.”

Jim Bennett’s later books may be more demanding, more sophisticated if you will, but all five volumes should go down in the annals of True Poetry. More importantly, they should be read, and savored, to make you feel that “Poetry is about Truth.”

Jim Bennett’s poetry books can be found at Amazon

Print versions are available from the Lulu Store in paperback and as e-pubs:

I urge you to visit Jim Bennett’s website where you will find some great images and also a few interesting observations about life in today’s Canada.