Reviews - What do customers think about The Everyday Uncommon?
A Fine Debut Jul 31, 2005
In The Everyday Uncommon, Terese Coe takes us to far flung places on the globe and in the mind. With an agile technique, she grants us entry into her formal poems from surprising angles.
The book opens with a verse letter to Virginia Woolf, written with clarity of line reminiscent of Housman, as David Mason has noted. Echoes of Frost can be heard as well, in "As Wild As We," "The Whale" and wherever ordinary speech is cracked over strict metrics. The ghosts of Lewis Carroll and Anton Chekhov are raised in these pages; poems such as "Theseus and Ariadne" give us new views of old myths.
The poems un-spool smoothly, alert to nuances of voice that deliver characters and situations reaching toward the universal. Each piece leads into the next rhythmically and thematically. "Villain Ill" comments on writing, and precedes a poem "On the Question of Men." Here the author speculates that
if I cried for a guy, like the weird Lorelei, I might write him a damn villanelle.
"In Everything the Traffic Will Allow," she points out the mechanisms of contradiction in modern life:
One weekend it's turn back the digital clocks, another, Subtract the same hour--. Spend it and save it and put it aside, but it's you, I fear, time will devour.
The poet observes nature with a keen eye, whether hell-bent ("A Year for Weather") or benign ("Beneath the Boom"). In "Dashinkali," she brings us to the site of sacrifice at a Hindu shrine.
In the oneness of the ocean, in the ringing Khumjung mile, Om was carved in stone and colored in the wild Tibetan smile.
Family life is the focus in "Vivenne and Vita" and "Dolpo Dog," and in a sonnet entitled "Ark," Coe's depiction of a flood -"The river's up, we're flooded, launch the ark!" reminds one of the drowning sea of domesticity. The author admits,
I couldn't take more torrents and this growing wilderness of wet things, oceangoing.
She calls evil by its proper name, especially in the 9/11 poems. It's the subject of an interview in "Anthropos," and "In the Lee of the Disaster," she tells us
Now there's disaster everywhere, No windward and no lee--- It's all one Earth, and all one air, And all one felony.
The book ends with "And This Is What We Have:"
And this is what we don't know: the reason for our living, the price we pay for chance, the sacredness of giving, the grace of our own dance.
Terese Coe shows us that grace, with heart and humor, in this well-wrought first book.
Everyone will love this May 19, 2005
There is no better poetry to make you feel good. The poems are scintillating with wit and musical sounds and new rhymes no one has ever used. The poems on the World Trade Center are the best. They rise above everything else written about that. Lots of poems about magical times all over the world too.