PoetryReviews.ca

Signature Editions - January 26, 2006 - 0 Comments

Radio & Other Miracles

Radio & Other Miracles by Terrance Cox

Reviewed by Eric Barstad

The poems of Terrance Cox’s Radio & Other Miracles (Signature Editions, 2001) are honest and rooted in the soil of the poet’s own life. These pieces, all connected in some way by the ever-present motifs of radio and music, recall times long (and not so long) gone, often moving between astonishment (at the transcendent power of a short-wave radio on a clear night or at a new-found ability to communicate across vast distances), nostalgia (for a schottische in the backwoods of Quebec or for Billie Holiday’s “delicious lick of lip”), and tribute (of an uncle who “could stickhandle like a devil” or of musicians such as Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk).

Radio & Other Miracles explores a history that is at once personal and shared. Relating to the reader tales of his youth and adulthood, Cox also re-imagines popular history (the days of humankind’s first tentative travels into space, Bob Marley’s death, and the first appearance of The Beatles on American TV), pondering – sometimes in celebration, sometimes in lament – the humanity that both unites and divides us:

  In revels of a Saturday
  & Sunday’s pop-tune praise,
  great rifts heal & close
  Babel was never built

  We are, these nanoseconds,
  sisters & brothers
  blessedly one species. (“Saturday Night in the Central Region” 56)

 

What makes the book somewhat less enjoyable, however, is the way Cox drops definite and indefinite articles (the, a, an) from his sentences – almost like static interfering with the clarity and continuity of a radio’s signal (and just as annoying). It is a technique that can be quite intrusive, never allowing the reader to become fully absorbed into the moving and extremely detailed narratives the poet creates. Yet, once you get used to Cox’s style, the book, especially for a first collection, is certainly worth many readings.

Review previously published in the Danforth Review.

Eric Barstad is the editor of PoetryReviews.ca, and he currently lives with his wife Erin and their two cats—Finnegan and Pickles—in Brooks, Alberta.

Add a Comment

Name:

Email:

Remember my personal information.
Notify me of follow-up comments?

We don't know if you're a human. Confirm below:

What genre of books do we review here? (6 character(s) required)

  • it’s really great that your website has so much interesting stuff to read. Come visit mine: flexa plus
    said TomD on May 02, 2016
    about The Crisp Day Closing on My Hand: The Poetry of M. Travis Lane edited by Jeanette Lynes
  • It’s a nice and very informative website and post too.You can benefited all others cosmetica industries as well. cosmetica groothandel …
    said acosmetica groothandel on January 02, 2016
    about Pendas Productions
  • Very very thanks for like this poetry.I am proud after looked on poetry.Ian LeTourneau’s reviewed poetry have given me many many …
    said cosmetica groothandel on December 30, 2015
    about The Crisp Day Closing on My Hand: The Poetry of M. Travis Lane edited by Jeanette Lynes
  • Wow it’s a hots poetry.So I lov,like this poetry.My need knowledge,which I have taken from The Mechanical Bird, Asa Boxer’s. cosmetica …
    said cosmetica groothandel on December 30, 2015
    about The Mechanical Bird by Asa Boxer
  • Wow what’s a nice poetry.I love like this poetry.I have read it and take some knowledge from Stone Sightings,Madeline Sonik. cosmetica …
    said cosmetica groothandel on December 30, 2015
    about Stone Sightings by Madeline Sonik
  • I am really happy After got this blog.g We seen abriel’s beach by the Neal McLeod. cosmetica groothandel
    said cosmetica groothandel on December 30, 2015
    about Gabriel’s Beach by Neal McLeod
  • I learn a lesson from you that ladies can do all the thing. cosmetica groothandel
    said acosmetica groothandel on December 28, 2015
    about Lady Godiva and Me by Liam Guilar
  • I love to hear always about MJ.In my life I wanted to be like MJ but I did not understand that …
    said Niamal Wakil on December 24, 2015
    about The Meaning of Michael Jackson
  • You made a most important point about poet.Without spectra poet has nothing.You may follow this link cosmetica grothandel for any cosmetic. …
    said Niamal Wakil on December 20, 2015
    about Nerve Language by Brian Henderson
  • After reading post I have read the poem of Gillian Sze.I feel the hit of this poet.It is really awesome that …
    said Niamal Wakil on December 17, 2015
    about Fish Bones by Gillian Sze