I happenned to browse through this book in a shop a few months ago, and was struck by the first page, so I went and borrowed a copy from the local library. This book lived up to the expectation that that first page created in me. These poems are about home, how we define where we live, what it is home? they are about the tension between wanting to belong, to settle and the urge of the open road, fairgrounds, dance halls. They are profound, moving, thoughtful, beautiful, and they strike a chord within that is very real. The Asylum Dance won huge critical acclaim, and, reading it, I can see why.
This book was a challenging read, but I enjoyed it. Some of the poetry was hard to understand and I had to read it a few times over, but it soon became clearer. I especially like the language that Burnside uses. I would recommend this book to any poetry reader.
The good reader from Oldham gives 'Asylum Dance' 4 stars, I'll give it 5, with pleasure. This is beautifully crafted poetry designed to keep the reader's intellect on the boil. And as with Eliot's poetry, it is not vital to understand it all on first or second reading as the imagery and the lyricism enthrall and delight.Burnside's tensions are deliciously balanced.
Lovely, dreamy poetry. I like modern prose poetry, particularly if it has a good narrative, which this does. There are episodes where Burnsides poetry wanders into a kind of inexplicable language and phrasing but I am ok with that and like a bit of a challenge.