It was five years ago that I requested (and received) a copy of this book. I was just beginning to get started with my serious book reviewing. I’m sure – very sure – that at the time I requested this, I was not aware that this was a book of poetry.
I don’t enjoy poetry.
I’ve tried. I’ve read a lot. I co-created a poetry hotline in college (call the toll-free number and hear a new poem every day). But I can tell you exactly how many books of poetry I’ve enjoyed. One. A collection by Galway Kinnell.
But this comes pretty close. I enjoyed a few here, and for me, that’s pretty good.
I thought poet Andrew Hudgins was establishing a theme pretty early on. The first line of the book is: “A joke is washed up on an island,” and three poems later the first line reads “Down these means streets a bad joke walks alone,”. But there are no jokes here. Just sad, lonely people.
One of the first poems that I really liked was “At the DMV.” This one really caught the essence of a moment – one, perhaps, I’ve felt I’ve lived myself.
I also appreciated “The Wild Swans Skip Coole” for its simplicity and the ability to capture a visual image and a rhythm found in nature.
The immature child in me laughed at “The Humor Institute.”
A couple other poems stood out for me : “Two Bourbons Past the Funeral” “In a Distant Room” “March” and “Fleeing Time.” Each of these spoke to me in that way a poem should reach a reader. The rest … well, they were readable (again…I mean that as a compliment), even for someone who doesn’t typically enjoy poetry.
Looking for a good book? If you enjoy reading poetry, then A Clown at Midnight by Andrew Hudgins is a good bet for you. If you are not a fan of poetry, this has some good poetry in it, but it’s not likely to convert you.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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A Clown at Midnight: Poems
author: Andrew Hudgins
publisher: Mariner Books
paperback, 112 pages