X: and other poems from A to Z
With a keen eye for detail, and in a way that is accessible and clear, Worth Bateman describes the fullness of life through the lens of ordinary events, and the hard truths, pleasures, foibles and follies familiar to us all. He writes in a style that is thoughtful, ironic, good-natured, and wise, as in these lines from the title poem on the parallels for a young teenager between learning algebra and the pull of sexual attraction: I remember it was fun— once we got the hang of it— ...perhaps a little taste of power playing in this algebraic world, solving for the unknown quantity; not unlike the feeling I had a few years later close dancing at the Junior Prom: after a little bit of trial and error, learning how to do it right, then having the fun of solving for x. And in these lines on love’s many facets: ...lasting love seems like a set of skills, like a trade or craft we slowly learn to make a work worth being part of... ...only love makes our life worthwhile but love won’t save us in the end... He asks us to think outside the usual norms: Time marches on but suppose it didn’t? Time waits for no man but suppose it did?... Coming to poetry late, after another long, successful, and very different career, Worth Bateman is an impressive new voice on the poetry scene. For poetry, a late bloomer.
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