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The Rocking House

by Michael Holloway


Michael Holloway
The Rocking House
Selected Poems 1966-1998
ISBN: 0-9662448-0-X

For the most part, the poet in America has always been a prophet without honor - and often without anything else - in his own country. Walt Whitman, struggling in poverty and poor health at the age of 55, was so desperate that he sold his books from a basket on the streets of Camden. And of course, poetry itself has been perenially unappreciated, mistaught, misunderstood. In our large cities, sad to say, we're far more likely to see a school child carrying a gun under his arm than a book of poems. What we need - to change our perception about the meaning and value of poetry - are collections like The Rocking House. Holloway's style brings to mind Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pablo Neruda, and Lenny Bruce. The poems themselves cover a broad range of themes: glimpses of the poet's childhood and marriage, the ironies of love, the mysteries of desire, the perils of capitalism, the moments of Oriental calm when nature showers us with peace. How to describe these gems? Powerful. Sensuous. Ripe with images that stay with you like melodies long after you've closed the cover of the book. Many of the poems delight and surprise, with biting twists that reveal the meaning in the last line, or even the very last word. Some of these verses will offend the kinds of people who need and deserve offending. For the rest of us, Mr. Holloway has given his readers a vivid work filled with humor, insight, and great joy.

—Michael Pastore, from the "Book of the Week," The Octopus 1998