Book Review: The Dance That Begins and Begins Selected Poems 1973 – 2013 by Jack Veasey

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

by Kirby Congdon…….

One may wonder if the Beat movement will have had an affect on the poets who followed them. This writer received a new collection from the American poet Jack Veasey with a cover by the literary figure, Ian Young, in Canada. A reader may be curious as to the influence the Beat period may have had on Veasey. It is a pleasure to be able to say that his book is an engaging one, always holding the reader’s attention with both skill and spontaneity. The writing is relaxed and the subjects that the poet selects to write about are, as I say, engaging even when he writes about family tensions. “Mr. Martin” documents the poet’s admiration bordering on a love affair for a high school teacher. Other poems examine the relationship with family members while “The Rabbit’s Funeral” captures the affect of death on a child. Mr. Veasey’s output is easy to read. Barbara Holland, a well recognized poet, remarked that Veasey’s work “comes like a shaft of cold air into a stuffy room?

Veasey answered his critics with this:

How dark
can anything be
that turns a light on
in your head,
no matter what
it lets you see?

Other topics get into the erotic but the frank, unpretentious tone stays on through this collection. I come away from his work with the satisfaction that the beat movement was a positive influence on our academic and commercial inhibitions. It is a comfort to know that talent was not confined to famous reputations. Mr. Veasey’s work includes innumerable poems in this generous book as well as eleven separate collections.

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