Rod McKuen - In Someone's Shadow. PDF

PDF I think that the way it's formatted is interesting. I have an original edition, and the fact that titles are left off and replaced with dates gives it a journal-feel, almost like a poetic memoir for the speaker. I like that this style creates intimacy between the reader and the writer. Something I thought was interesting was the varying perspectives on women. Knowing that his peak was in the 70's makes me rationalize some of the stereotyped visions the speaker has of women, but in the way those particular poems are structured, I can't say from a Feminist lens that it's necessarily a product of its time or offensive. If anything, it sounds more like a man expressing something stereotypical men might. My favorite piece from this book is "April 12" which goes:

'We come into the world alone.
We go away the same.
We’re meant to spend the interlude between
in closeness
Or so we tell ourselves
But it’s a long way from the morning
to the evening.'

Short, sweet, sincere.

Though, when I revisit his writing years after my initial reading, I can only think, "Unremarkable."

But I think that about a lot of poets who get big, stay big for a while, and then diminish.

Good, but not great.

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