For Love of Common Words (Steve Scafidi)

20130728-214248.jpgI was first introduced to Steve Scafidi’s work through someone who shared his poem “The Bee of Was” with me. While that poem is not in this collection, I couldn’t resist picking this one up when I saw it on the shelf in a local used bookstore.

It’s a beautiful collection, albeit a bit understated. By that, I mean that Scafidi’s collection is quite lovely as a whole even though, for this reader, none of the poems really stood out to me all on their own. Instead, in reading them together there was an enjoyable and interesting movement to the poems that made the collection a pleasure to read.

Scafidi’s poetry is inflected with images of nature, which I always enjoy, and this particular collection also bears the strong influence of his daughter’s birth — a feature that comes out with the scattered placement of just a few poems dealing with that subject. It’s a good, quick read.

GOOD FOR:  People who are easily intimidated by poetry (as in, it won’t intimidate you), lovers of the musical potential of language, and anyone who likes a good chapbook now and then.

BAD FOR:  Fans of closed forms, readers looking for heavily philosophical poems, and anyone who doesn’t want to contemplate the simpler things in life right now.

GOOD WITH:  Any of Patrick Rosal’s poetry, Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, and Waking.


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