Useless Landscape, Or, A Guide for Boys


Powell, D. A.

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Useless Landscape, Or, A Guide for Boys
"In D.A. Powell's fifth poetry book, the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the master and who is the pupil. This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire. With Powell's witty banter, emotional resolve, and powerful lyricism, this collection demonstrates his exhilarating range"--Dust jacket.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9781555976057
Characteristics: 108 p. ;,24 cm.
Alternate Title: Guide for boys


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Jun 12, 2013
  • dpecsreads rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I thought this collection by D.A. Powell (which was highly lauded by NPR and the National Book Critics Circle) was a little inconsistent - there are some powerful poems here, and some that are unconventional in topic (the poem on 'fluffers' comes to mind first), but there are some that just fall flat.
The book is broken into two halves, as noted by the dual title of the collection; I think the "Useless Landscape" half of the text is a bit more cohesive (reminiscent of Campbell McGrath's "Capitalism" poems), and is marginally better than the second half, "A Guide for Boys."


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