Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Poets and Poems: John Dorsey and “Your Daughter’s Country”

I’m reading Your Daughter’s Country, the recent poetry collection by the Missouri-based poet John Dorsey, and I’m thinking to myself that I wouldn’t want to be the subject of one of his poems. He casts an affectionate eye on his friends, acquaintances, and relatives, but it is a ruthlessly honest eye, one that sees them as they are – the good in them, the bad, the indifferent. You don’t read a poem with the title of “Coco Malone is a Bad Bitch” and expect both scalpel-like description and affection, but that’s what you get.

I’m put in mind of my Uncle Revis. He was my father’s brother-in-law, the husband of a beloved aunt who made the best biscuits in north Louisiana. If the word “garrulous” hadn’t already existed, it would have been invented just for him. For years, I spent a summer week or two with my grandmother who lived across the street from my aunt and uncle, and we ate together, picked vegetables together (my job was digging for potatoes), and watched television together. Saturday nights meant The Lawrence Welk Show, and my Uncle Revis would sit quietly until the Lennon Sisters performed, when he would start shouting “They’re ignorant!” at the television. It was something you got used to.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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