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The Truth Squad Paperback – 1 Sep 2002

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best-kept secret in American poetry 6 Jan. 2003
By Andrew Auge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dennis Schmitz is a poet who deeply deserves to be more well-known. Averse to the kind of self-publicizing that seems to be second nature to many top poets, he lets his work speak for itself. "The Truth Squad," his seventh book, encapsulates many of the qualities that make Schmitz's poetry so utterly distinctive and so fascinating. These poems are marked by a subtle lyricism, an off-handed weirdness, and metaphysical depth. Schmitz, like Billy Collins, possesses a deft magican's touch, an uncanny ability to conjure up strange scenarios from the most mundane circumstances. But while Collins' poetry suffers from occasional slackness and sloppiness, Schmitz's never does. Much of the pleasure of reading "The Truth Squad" comes from discovering the precise and exquisite craftsmanship of poems that at first glance might have seemed inchoate. The experience is something akin to listening to Theolonius Monk.
Schmitz's poems, because they are so freshly imagined and so carefully crafted, are not ones that can be quickly digested over the breakfast table. They require and reward rumination.
I find myself returning again and again to "Dances," "Paradise," "Iowa Gothic," and "The Text" and other poems in "The Truth Squad." And after each encounter I come away with a new discovery that makes me shake my head in wonder.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure and Power 17 Nov. 2002
By KALfromCAL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dennis Schmitz is a true original, the "real thing." Nobody writes like he does. He doesn't write like anyone else. The poems in The Truth Squad are fused and layered and deeply, surprisingly imagined. Schmitz gets more energies into the short line than any poet I know, and is a master of cunning, charged line breaks. He also weaves in a marvelous, bold quirkiness, ala Edson or Simic--counterpoint to the moral (and mortal) seriousness of his work. Equally intuitive and intelligent, these poems make a unique, delicious and somehow inevitable music.
Reading a Schmitz poem is like looking into one of Joseph Cornell's boxes and "getting it," yet also sensing one may not be apprehending all that is contained. So the looking-into never tires the reader. The poems invite rereading--for the pleasure of their high craft, and the depth and resonance of meaning. I have all of Schmitz' work, and even after 25 years find each rereading an electrifying pleasure and new experience.
When all the hoo-ha by and about most of our currently Famous Poets blows away in the eternal wind, these poems will still hold their mineral shapes, and last.
In the poem "Paradise," Schmitz says the poet's work is "to make night from one/owl & with his own night sweat to wash/enough talk to wake each of us//the other side of sleep."
Dennis Schmitz does the poet's work, in this wide-awake, awakening, brilliant collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Schmitz: Heroic Poet & Heroic Muse 22 April 2006
By ronaldskritter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read all Dennis Schmitz's books once every year.

I cannot recommend them highly enough for those seeking

the pure beauty of words and desiring to slake

their thirst on an elixir of electrical lyrics.

Poet Schmitz was my mentor at university.

He and his absolutely beautiful wife, Loretta,

(who I still think about a *lot*)

inspired me to choose writing as my profession.

Although considered a sell-out because I ended up

writing Hollywood scripts, I know I wouldn't have

succeeded as a screenwriter without Poet

Schmitz's inspirational navigation as I launched

my voyage into the Arts. Each and every time

I look at the golden Oscar that adorns my mantel

I instantly recall this gifted maestro!

DS: I salute you!

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