8.22.2010

The Myth of Simple Machines
Laurel Snyder
No Tell Books, paper, 2007


This is a wonderful book which reminds us that Edward Gorey was a roommate of somebody like Frank O'Hara when Frank O'Hara was at Harvard using his GI Bill wisely. When other people were at Black Mountain, also using their GI Bills wisely.

The importance of this -- match -- of New York School to Edward Gorey (and now Edward Gorey is so filtered through Tim Burton) to the very fine and long tradition of nonsense verse and verse that isn't light, really, isn't surrealist, really, isn't for children, but just might squeak and twitter the right way to appeal, to sell, to be women's writing that is right for the cocktail hour OR to be illustrated BECAUSE EVERYBODY ENJOYS IT: this is Laurel Snyder's achievement in this book. It is wonderful and perfect, but more than this: it shows a line of inquiry, aesthetic and interest that is taking place alongside surrealism, alongside the gothic, alongside abstract expressionism. The opening poem IS "The Field Has a Girl." And then, through the poems, the girl continues.

Great stuff!