Thursday, 15 October 2015

Conditioned Response by Gary Beck

Conditioned Response is Gary Beck's 11th published chapbook. This 100 page book of poetry focuses on contemporary issues such as drug use, terrorism, overpopulation and pollution. These poems are balanced by those about nature, including the weather.

The language is straightforward and tends toward the prosaic - indeed it is difficult to be lyrical about war and similar issues of import in today's society.

The narrator in Northern Mariners thinks back on his family's relationship with the frozen northern oceans and muses:

"I will be the first
not to fear the ice,
thanks to global warming."

Amongst the nature poems I was most struck by the story in Brief Freedom, which focuses on the relationship between Mr Fozzy Pate, a pet finch and the wild finches living nearby

"One spring morning
wild finches sang nearby
and Mr fuzzy pate
burst into joyous song".

This is a serious book dealing with serious issues, which makes it perhaps a bit unusual among contemporary poetry, much of which tends to shy away from issues.

Conditioned Response by Gary Beck is available here.


Jenn Jilks said...

Good review!

Lowcarb team member said...

Nice to read your thoughts here.
I enjoy reading poetry, and there are many good poems available, which cover all subjects.
Of course it is only natural that some we may enjoy more than others, but it is good to have a choice. We are blessed that there are so many great books to choose from.

All the best Jan

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Enjoyed your review and the samples. Couldn't help but compare your description of most contemporary poets to most of the photo bloggers I look at ... They tend to shy away from the issues ( me included, obviously ). Maybe most poets, like most photo bloggers, feel they can contribute more by adding a little joy to the often bleak world. That said, I appreciate very much the bloggers I read (you know who you are) who are able to do both. I expect it could be the same with poets , if I spent more time with them.

A Cuban In London said...

I must say that I quite liked the directness of it. Thanks for the introduction.

Greetings from London.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I keep meaning to assemble my own prose chapbook! Or I was going to write random things and let them loose in cafes, pubs and shops in town

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Sallie, Iagree, there are poets and photographers who just want to bring joy into the world. I have to say though that a lot of the poets who don't engage with issues, just engage with their own misery these days.

Simon - i like the idea of writing random things and letting them loose....