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Formats
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 06/2020
  • 9781777035051
  • pages
  • $6.00
Paperback Book Details
  • 06/2020
  • 9781777035044
  • 46 pages
  • $8.00
Brad Ramsey
Author
An Evening Pastiche
Brad Ramsey, author
Pastiche written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the circumstance of the underclass of today's society is adapted to the pleasure of traditional poetry; that finds precedents, for example, in the Enclosure Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain, passed during the reign of King George III, which removed the right of access to common lands that had been the labourer's heritage and source of income for ages past.
Reviews
A love of classic English poetry, or at least some familiarity with it, will serve readers well when diving into this collection, which pays homage to 19th-century English romantic poetry with a series of William Wordsworth pastiches that address 21st-century urban living. In wry references to Wordsworth’s evening walks, Ramsey writes of roaming Toronto’s streets and encountering light pollution, skyscrapers, graffiti, and a woman who reminds him of Ishtar as he asks her to light his cigarette.

The author has mastered the tone and dialect of romantic poetry, and he uses them to explore quotidian urban matters as familiar to 21st-century readers as daffodils were in Wordsworth’s day. In “The Idle Corner-Boys,” two young men attempt to prove their manhood by challenging each other to grope women. Seeing a woman already in distress, they forfeit their plan of feeling her up and instead help her find her missing brooch. "The Sewer and the Maple Leaf" has an engaging use of personification, as it finds a sewer grate and a maple leaf in an interesting exchange about the maple leaf's survival of winter. In “The Shepherd’s Blues,” stars are hard to see in “the city haze,” but starlets proliferate.

Each piece showcases Ramsey's knowledge of different poetic styles as he employs couplets, triplets, free verse and multiple other forms. There’s a seeming paradox in imitating Wordsworth’s language, which was meant to replace florid 18th-century poetry with earthy everyday speech but sounds nearly as fancy to modern ears. However, Ramsey blends in plenty of current idiom, and the juxtaposition of “crack alley” with “poor hovels” or “a bus shelter/ Of plexiglass and yellow steel” with the “whirl-blast” of snow is delightful. Readers who know enough about romantic poetry to get the joke will enjoy this witty homage.

Takeaway: Aficionados of 19th-century romantic poetry will enjoy this clever update of William Wordsworth’s style with 21st-century subjects and language.

Great for fans of William Wordsworth, William Blake.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B-
Illustrations: -
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B

Formats
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 06/2020
  • 9781777035051
  • pages
  • $6.00
Paperback Book Details
  • 06/2020
  • 9781777035044
  • 46 pages
  • $8.00

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