The Marrow Fields

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There are a thousand things that can be looked for in poetry, and that is part of its beauty. The rhythm and language of Shakespeare, the narrative of Browning, the deceptive lightness of Silverstein… Poetry is even more flexible than prose, and that is part of what makes it so difficult to get right. After all, without as much of a structure to follow and without the need to have a story to tell, who can say whether a poet has written something wonderful or useless?

I may not be qualified to write a full-blown essay on Coy Williams’s poems, analyzing each line to tease out hidden meanings (intended or not), but I have enough experience with poetry to give a well-formed opinion, and that is this: The Marrow Fields is a work of beauty.

The collection opens with “Country Roads,” a piece filled with rich imagery that sets the tone for the poems that follow. Williams imbues his poetry with an atmosphere that clings to the reader’s mind, one that lingers long after the final line has been read and settles deep within the recesses of thought. These are not overly ambitious poems that call attention to themselves only to fall short of their attempts. The poems are beautiful in their simplicity, which makes the surprises they do contain all the more delightful. In the midst of evocative imagery and words that feel like a quiet whisper, Williams gives us lines like “Your fingers move across the glass / below the window/ we spoke / in a language of the deer / under the weight / of winter snow.” There is nothing gaudy about his work, but that makes it all the more enjoyable to read, because even the best-written lines don’t take away from the rest of the poem by trying to stand out.

So, poetry lovers, pick up a copy of The Marrow Fields. Take it out to a field of your own and enjoy the last sunlight before winter with words that fill well with the dying year.

Reviewed By:

Author Coy Williams
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 130 pages
Publisher Poeticus Publishing
Publish Date
ISBN 9780692394915 Buy this Book
Issue September 2016
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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