Modern Poetry Just Got a Bit More Classic | Review: Ill Angels by Dante Di Stefano

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Good poetry stirs something inside us--Ill Angels does that and more. Dante Di Stefano is one a voice to be heard.

About 

Ill Angels explores love, music, death, language, and the idea of American self-hood in an era of increasing political divides.

Ill Angels explores the breakdowns and joys, the rhythms and reveries, the cul-de-sacs and jubilees, of early midlife. In poems that are at once formally assured and daringly inventive, Dante Di Stefano invokes the lives of artists, musicians, and writers he admires as his poems ruminate on love, death, music, language, and notions of national belonging. Fountaining through this book you will find: Louis Armstrong, Gwendolyn Brooks, the Coen Brothers, John Coltrane, Phillip K. Dick, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Bob Dylan, Robert Frost, Guns N’ Roses, Hokusai, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Kobayashi Issa, Paul Klee, Dolly Parton, Pearl Jam, Prince, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gene Rodenberry, Sonny Rollins, A Tribe Called Quest, Derek Walcott, Phillis Wheatley, William Carlos Williams, the Wu-Tang Clan, Neil Young, Liu Xiabo, and many more. The poems in this volume range from nightlight to midnight moon to hospital hallway and back again. Written with a commitment to the hard-fought duende and earned communion of poetry, Ill Angels aims at delight, wisdom, and the endless sacred consolations available to us though words on a page and in the air.Ill Angels explores the cul-de-sacs and jubilees of early midlife. In poems that are at once formally assured and daringly inventive, Dante Di Stefano invokes the lives of artists, musicians, and writers he admires as his poems ruminate on love, death, music, language, and notions of national belonging.


Ill Angels by Dante Di Stefano 
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.  

Reviewing poetry is a mixed bag. You can't go too in depth, at the risk of just rehashing everything you found in the prose. So, this review will be a bit shorter--such is the case with all my reviews of poetry. Ill Angels, firstly, is beautiful. If you have to take away one word from my review, it is that: beautiful.

Dante Di Stefano crafts a gorgeous set of poems within Ill Angels and spares virtually no topic. He is, in short, a true poet. If you are searching for modern poetry that taps in at a certain length, with an array of topics, Ill Angels is for you. Something about it feels instantly classic and yet is still undeniably modern.

Good poetry makes you feel the cut of its words, no matter the length, no matter the connection you do or don't hold with the poet, and Ill Angels is amongst some of the best. You can feel yourself in the best moments of Ill Angels; connecting to Di Stefano's words, and getting lost in his thoughts. 

What I found most striking about Ill Angels was the way that Di Stefano ties everything together. His prose is thought-provoking, to the point, sometimes romantic and dreamy, other times brilliantly tuned into current events.

This is the poetry release you've been waiting for.

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