TO CRAVE BEYOND CONTENT ~ review of T.L.Davis' SHED

Good poetry gets straight to the pip at the core of life.

The following words from one of T.L.Davis's poem's felt to me like the pip at the core of SHED, her very accessible collection of some 60 modern American verses:

"Tidal waves are what I crave".

She wld rather be in too deep than, "in the shallows of life waiting for a ripple to flow into me."

There is some great stuff in SHED.
About a dozen of the poems are brilliant. This for me makes SHED a success. I enjoyed it. I learnt from it. it made me smile at times, and it made me understand a woman's pain. I believe SHED wld be a great book for unreconstructed cavemen to read because it just might make them think differently about their behaviour. I believe it wld be a very useful book for marriage counsellors to have to hand because if captures a lot of the woe that millions of us experience as we struggle to make sense of our lives. Isn't this part of a poet's role, to help others to understand?

SHED is a book that is full of emotional intelligence. We make great play of intellectual intelligence, but emotional intelligence is just as important to a balanced life.

Say hello, to Goldie, in Gold Digger, "Hey, what's up. I'm Goldie."

Another line captures how it starts for many, "I was drunk when I met you".

Love follows of course and it all goes right, then wrong, terribly wrong.

There are some great dabs in SHED: "the solemn corners of your mouth .. I heard someone say life is beautiful .. today I watched the grass grow .. to the mesmerising whispers of the ocean blue .."

DIRT ROAD .. CLEAN SLATE .. strong, strong poems. When T.L.Davis is at her best she seems to put on her best poetic form and uses repetitions very effectively. The human emotions always take precedence over form in her work though, but when she does use simple poetic devices her message is all the stronger.

Two poems rocked me to the core: THE ONE THAT NEVER CAME TO BE and SHED. I won't tell you what they are about, only that they are strong reads.

The sadness in SHED is balanced by a strong sense of wit which is evident in LIAR, GLOBETROTTER and, especially, MR.VEGAS, the final lines of which wld leave scratch marks a yard wide down the love rat's ego.

Another clutch of poems in SHED deals with working life in modern America. Having a job can be dehumanising, "punch the clock, punch the clock again". But not having one is infinitely worse. STATE OF IDLE, for those millions of Americans without a job cld be a new state in the union.

The economy affects the emotional life, too. In WHATEVER PLEASES YOU, a guy loses his job and then his woman too because of what happens to him and how he is.

The collection ends on a calmer note with hopeful poems about salvation.

I recommend SHED to you because it is a tidal wave of strong emotions captured in modern verse that is direct and artful and beautiful in its totality.

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