I cannot begin to tell readers of this my Tumblr Blog how excited I am to review the new poetry book "The Poets Are Dead?" by the fabulous Baltimore, Maryland poet and novelist Mr. A. Jarrell Hayes--my poetry friend.
The book is divided into four sections. I think this was a brilliant move on A.J.'s part given the nature and variety of the poems contained therein. It made for a better read than if he had not done so.
The first section is titled SALUTE TO THE FALLEN. In my opinion this is the best section of poems in the book. I don't want to downplay the other sections, they are fabulous too. But "SALUTE TO THE FALLEN" is the section where most of my favorites are contained.
In this section A.J. is masterful in his poetic writing. He weaves a poetic narrative so engulfing I kept circling stanzas and placing brackets outside couplets and tercets to notate how they spoke something profound to me. I placed a check mark by the title to note which ones were my favorites. Above the poem SALUTE TO THE FALLEN I wrote the following "Excellent!"
Other poems in this section I loved are MISSTEP IN THE SAND, THE VIGIL, THE POETS ARE DEAD, OCEAN'S VOICE, and DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS. The bulk of these poems deal with poets who, having long since passed, still speak to us today. A.J. honors the reader by doing the necessary research to make sure the content of these poems are sound from a historical perspective. Good job A.J.
The second section is titled THE REPUBLIC. Here he waxes very poetic by using multiple metaphors and by asking lots of questions that often get answered in the last stanza. I was just impressed how he employed a technique of ending the poems with an answer as opposed to leaving the reader hanging or grappling for their own answer. Bravo A.J.
He has titled the third section GOD'S GUITAR. And in this section I find my favorite poem. And I mean favorite by every stretch of one's imagination. The poem is called BAPTISM. And it is absolutely brilliant! I loved it so much I stopped my wife and read it out loud to her. I read it with passion and vigor. I read it so loud and with such enthusiasm I wondered if my neighbors were thinking I had lost my mind.
Just read this: "In my fantasy the swine would lay / Their pearls before my feet, as I sat / On my regal dais and ate truffles." This is fabulous and amplified brilliance when read in context. What an absolutely incredible piece of poetry A. Jarrell Hayes.
One other poem I found noteworthy is BOXING WITH GOD. It is a must read and not something to be glossed over. The way A.J. tells this poetic tale is masterful.
The fourth and final section is titled BEYOND THE SUN. I think LOST JERUSALEM is destined to become a classic in his collection. This poem needs public recognition for its brilliance. It shook me to my core for its profundity.
This poet's latest publication should be considered for award recognition. It certainly has my unequivocal vote. Please, make sure you get you a copy of "The Poets Are Dead?" I am grateful I did.