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FAULT LINES
Poetry by Gary Beck

Paperback
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing (November 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941058558
ISBN-13: 978-1941058558
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches

 

 

If we accept the idea that, among many different classifications, poetry also can be classified as socially active and socially passive, Gary Beck poems definitely fall into the first category. In some eighty-eight poems, there is almost no social issue or concept of the modern American society and the world in general, that Beck didn’t tackle in his verses.

Socially engaged poetry is not a novelty. It is as old as poetry itself. Nevertheless, readers usually expect from poets expressions of some inner conditions and feelings, most often disassociated from the everyday reality we live in; verses that will raise our spirits and enlighten our souls; something we can read to our sweethearts when expressing love.  With Beck’s poetry, you are on the wrong track. The only time you can read his verses to your sweetheart is when deciding if you are going to have kids.

His poems will give you a fair (and terrifying) break down of the conditions you are going to bring your newborns into if you decide to have them. Even when he writes about “old poems of love” it is a SHOCK TREATMENT.

Old poems of love
make us dream
sweet moods,
noble thoughts,
but visions of torment
stir our fears,
stab our hearts
with lances of pain
that penetrate,
break off, fester,
leaving us deprived,
spiritually naked.

But, if you want to nourish your social awareness and challenge your conscience to action, Beck’s poetry is exactly what you need to inspire you. It almost feels like a call for action. Each poem carries a very specific accusation, points to wrongdoings or negative conditions we all face as citizens and human beings. The “Fault Lines” of our existence. On the first site, the very pessimistic outlook of our circumstances. The very last poem in the book points in that direction:

Finis

When fossil fuel is exhausted
and the forests are depleted,
we will hulk by imaginary fires,
prisoners of feeble memories,
until our last indulgences
have been extinguished.


However, beneath all this outcry of the soul, spirit, and body, there is a concealed line of optimism “of citizens in torment / under constant assault, / reveal the melody / of your anguished composition.”

Beck is an optimist in disguise. We can make things better. We can change. We can TRULY make America great again. But first, we must admit our FAULTS. That is when and where our transformation towards better individual and better society could begin. On the Fault lines. And like true master wordsmith, with every following poem, he slowly builds in us an urge for a change, a passive call to action, a desire to become better and to contribute more to the common good.

From the tragedy of our shortcomings, the new better world will arise.

FAULT LINES by Gary Beck is one of the best poetry books I read recently. As a piece of art work, it is a complete and mature body of literary perfection in verses. If this is a star based review, it would rightfully get five stars.  

Review by Stevan V. Nikolic

To read an interview with Gary Beck, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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