Kingston Ontario, Canada poet Bruce Kauffman is releasing his fourth collection of poems published by Hidden Brook Press, an evening absence still waiting for moon. Like Kauffman’s previous publications the works contained in this volume not only draw you into the secret world of the mundane things we take for granted, they help you learn to see everything around you in with different eyes and in a new way.
Kauffman’s ability to take words we use everyday, and through some strange alchemy turn them into magic formulae which open our eyes, ears and hearts to the elements in ways we haven’t been able to fathom previously, is only part of the wonder that is his poetry.
From the short haiku “a life reminder” to the more lengthy “the living and the dead” the manner in which words are arranged is like being introduced to a new language. One which enriches our experience of the world by breathing new life into descriptions of what we thought we understood and knew.
If you or I look around us we might notice the fresh dew on a morning, or the way the sun reflects off individual droplets. Kauffman sees worlds: “to a single almost invisible/wisp of dew caressing yet/a high hanging leaf/a full single raindrop just below/still nestled in the hollow/of a low branch/is an ocean”. (“universes” Bruce Kauffman, an evening absence still waiting for moon p.10)
To some poetry remains the most inaccessible of literary forms. Perhaps because they think its disconnected from reality or their lives. However, when you read the work of someone like Kauffman, you can’t help but realize poetry is actually just another way of describing the world around us.
He takes moments we all experience; overheard conversations in a coffee shop, mornings, choosing to enjoy a moment instead of searching out a new experience and the ways in which memories can be triggered, and allows us to see them in a new light. It’s like his words are an x-ray machine giving us a view under the skin of moments revealing their inner workings.
an evening absence still waiting for moon is a collection of poetry that will astound and delight. Even if you claim to be one of those who don’t like, or can’t ‘get’, poetry, read this book. Not only will you find out what you’ve been missing all these years by denying yourself the pleasures of reading a poem, you’ll discover the hidden world a gifted poet like Kauffman can reveal.
(Article originally posted at Blogcritics.org as Book Review: an evening absence still waiting for moon Poems by Bruce Kauffman)
Richard Marcus is the author of two commissioned works published by Ulysses Press, editor in the books section of Blogcritics.org and contributor at Qantara.de. He has been writing since 2005 and his work has appeared in publications all over the world including the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine.