Pax Atomica: Poems
Ecco, 2004 (2004)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
his slim collection of Campbell McGrath's ironic poetry includes many musing commentaries in free verse on aspects of North American culture - ranging from music and movies to travel and take out food.
immediately caught me eye - a visual journey culminating in '
Three pumpkins on a back porch. Trestles / of an overpass / resembling Mandarin calligraphy.
, McGrath says of our consumer society that '
America's hunger takes nothing for granted ... America's epic is the odyssey of appetite ... So we walk forth, into the future, / consuming as we are consumed.
' He aptly labels the
the Olympian vox populi of CNN / as global witness to our local forms of carnage
', with the damning comment '
a new millennium dawns: / a thousand years of Scooby-Doo, / a thousand years of oblivion.
liked the satire in
's take on Subway sandwiches, the cultural range of
Rock and Roll
, and (though I prefer Buffy myself) I laughed at McGrath's ode to
Xena, Warrior Princess
, including '
Some are born to run and some are born to rerun
'. Of the death of singer
Jeffrey Lee Pierce
, McGrath offers '
I am only one of many still listening ... one of many bound to bear witness to what lives on long after the voice of the singer has gone. / A song. / There. Can you hear it?
' If you enjoy poetry that speaks to modern times and American culture, then you really should read Campbell McGrath's
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