An excellent new review of Dave Bonta's Odes to Tools has just appeared on the blog of poet, theologian, creative writing professor and college administrator Kristin Berkey-Abbott, who gave several copies as gifts this Christmas. She writes:
"It's a great book for those people on your list who see poetry as a hoity-toity exercise that rarely speaks to regular people.
Bonta writes a poem for every almost every tool in the shed (unless you've got a really well-stocked shed). His poem "Ode to a Hoe" envisions the hoe as an agent of beginnings--not only the new garden, but also those worms that you chop in half. "Ode to a Measuring Tape" comforts me by asserting "In an old house like this, nothing is square." "Ode to a Shovel" uses the metaphor of stew and of dancing to make me see a shovel in a whole new light. "Ode to a Claw Hammer" ensures I will never see the hammer in the same way again, once I've read Bonta's description of the hammer as "the first / perfect androgyne," a creature that can "give birth to nails."
His chapbook is wonderfully accessible, and I mean that in the most positive way. Even those of us who haven't used the tools will likely understand the poems."
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