Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love Puts its Readers in a Trance | Review: Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love by Keith S. Wilson

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Just as you might have guessed: Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love is a great glimpse into one's way about poetic expression.


Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love is a collection whose poems approach family, politics, and romance, often through the lens of space: the vagaries of a relationship full of wonder and coldness, separation and exploration. There is the sense of the speaker as a cartographer of familiar spaces, of land he has never left or relationships that have stayed with him for years, and always with the newness of an alien or stranger. Acutely attuned to the heritage of Greco-Roman myth, Wilson writes through characters such as the Basilisk and the Minotaur, emphasizing the intense loneliness these characters experience from their uniqueness. For the racially ambiguous speaker of these poems, who is both black and not black, who has lived between the American South and the Midwest, there are no easy answers. From the fields of Kentucky to the pigeon coops of Chicago, identities and locations blur―the pastoral bleeds into the Afrofuturist, black into white and back again.

Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love by Keith S. Wilson
Rating: ★★★☆☆
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.   

"Loving is misnomer, because you are expected of your heart's opinion on a sentence that is never completed, even as you are having it. Nothing must be more free than the feeling of the right to leave." 

Poetry is the most intimate form of expressing our thoughts. The good, the bad. The passionate, the painful. It's telling a story--personal, fictional, anything--in a way that hits close to home. For Wilson, the prose mingles with personal experiences and a little mythology sprinkled in for good measure.

What I loved most about Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love is how the mixture of prose and mythology went together so well. I found myself in a trance for many of its pages and could feel the hum of Wilson's words for hours after I'd closed in on reading it.

While there were a few poems that I simply did not connect with, this does not--or should not--define your view of Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love, nor does it take away from the quality of writing. This is one of those collections that has something for everyone, but maybe won't work wholly for us all. At the end of the day, that's what makes it unique and standout amongst the surge of modern poetry.

Overall, I firmly believed Keith S. Wilson's art needs to be read. If you love poetry, be sure to add this to your list before the year is up--you won't regret it.

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