Monday, June 09, 2008
The Moon Where the Love is a Battlefield, says I
There is no slick and easy way to talk about how awesome this book is. There is zero chance of not mentioning the word, "awesome." So, I'll just go for it. This book is fucking awesome. Epic in length, scope and purpose, this book falls somewhere between "Huck Finn," and Bob Dylan's, "Blonde on Blonde." To help you visualize, imagine Huck in all his Southern glory, singing, "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again."
It's shocking to me (now) that Stanford has yet to be cannonized, especially since poetry in the 70's was still reeling from beatnik and hippie culture. Let's be honest, poetry was a mess in the 70's and to this day I am hard pressed to think of any major voice to come out of that decade like they had in the decades prior (seriously, start listing the major poets of the 20th century and I bet you run out before the 70's). Anyway, Stanford was a voice of his generation and this book proves it.
As a text this book's focus is based on dreams, but where the real fun begins is when the dreams and the reality begin to intertwine. The South, both old and contemporary) is oft thought to be a magical place. It's where the devil walked freely. It's where the devil kept his souls. It's where religion and hoodoo were, for all practical purposes, the same thing. It's basically the birthplace of superstition and as such it is the perfect setting for this poem.
Ultimately, it is my belief that Stanford's goal was to prove that the world was the same whether we were asleep or awake and that both dreams deserved to be taken seriously.
I'll talk more about this over the coming weeks (like I said, it's a big fucking book) so I'd suggest you go out, buy a copy (actually, stay in and buy if from SPD), and read it with me.