I had been waiting for this collection to be released for quite some time, having seen some samples of the author's work prior to getting my hands on this ARC edition of the full collection. I was not disappointed! Zimmermann's poetry flows effortlessly from one poem to the next (though the collection could also be read in any order, if you so choose). I look forward to getting a print copy of this collection as I'd love to have it as a coffee table book.
Each poem is refreshingly, even at time disturbingly, honest. Zimmermann bares so much with his words: his heart, his soul, his life, even his alarmingly accurate view of hidden parts of humankind. Let's face it, we are an imperfect species and even the most normal of us do some pretty bizarre things. Ithink my favorite poems in his collection were the ones that showed this, evoking at times discomfort as well as pain and love and the pain of loving.
I enjoyed the complexity of humanity, of human nature, of relations. Zimmermann's "From Where I Stand" is a beautifully inspired collection that in its own way tells Zimmermann's story of growing up, and the real beauty is seeing how a person can go through such hardships and still grow to be such a source of compassion, love, and intelligence. There are some heart-wrenching moments in this collection where Zimmermann leaves his soul bleeding on the floor--and here you have a man who is not afraid to cry, and there were some really powerful passages in this regard.
Some of my favorite works in the collection were:
With Eyes Closed
A Storm on Two Fronts
Benefits of a Morning Walk
Will You Join Me?
Our Tuesday Nights
Grey & Tattered
Then there were two poems that stood out to me most of all for different reasons. The first was "Change of Address" that has a pointed ending that, to me, really took the poem above and beyond, turning it from something clever into something outright brilliant. The other was "Restless Night" which I found to be the most provocative work in the collection, dark and honest as well as a little disturbing.
With some of the finest free-verse poetry I've ever read, I highly recommend this collection. For the purpose of making sure I had the review ready in time, I read through this fairly quickly (it's an easy read!) but when I have a print copy I would like to read it one poem at a time, cherishing each one and perhaps thinking on it for a day or weak and exploring it a little further. The book is a powerful collection of Zimmermann's work. Don't miss out.
(reviewed the day of purchase)