At Times: New and Selected Poems by Brooke Horvath (Seven Stories Press, paperback)
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher Marketing: Over thirty years of poems from an American poet in the spirit of Alan Dugan and Nelson Algren's Chicago: City on the Make.
"At times . . . I wanted to be a poet." A fittingly sly and humble epigraph for this half- a- lifetime's worth of sly and humble, and also lyrical and joyous, poems. From the first poem in the collection, "The Woman in the Peter Pan Collar," in which the poet examines an old photograph of his mother, searching for clues, to the last, "Rainouts," in which he beseeches the Lord to let his own death take place on the sort of day that strands baseball games mid-inning, leaving "all final decisions happily deferred," Brooke Horvath is always intimate, never rhetorical or bland. This is poetry not just for the sake of poetry, but poetry as a way of life, of engaging with the world. Like the works of Alan Dugan or Galway Kinnell, these are poems of the everyday and, when read slantwise, of what lies beyond. The whole collection, in fact, is imbued with the wily double meaning of the final couplet from "What in the World Were We Thinking Of?"--"It was a day when nothing happened / that we will find worth remembering."