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Book Club
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Author Fri Oct 18 2013

A Review of The Waiting Tide, Poetry by Ryan W. Bradley

Waiting_Tide_Front.jpgI have to be honest--it's been awhile since I've read an entire collection of poetry, but The Waiting Tide, the first book published by Curbside Splendor's poetry imprint, Concepción, was so worth it. I read it in one sitting. Twice, actually.

In the introduction, Bradley says, "I found myself compelled to write about love, lust, and the sea. All forms of escape, all symbols of our primal wishes. I found myself in dialogue with the master of love poetry." This book is a conversation with Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.

The books is split into four sections: Waiting Tides, Love, Desire, and Your. Bradley's poems no doubt evoke feelings of love, longing, and lust. Bradley said in an interview, "...as embarrassed as
 my wife gets that people are reading poems that are at times very intimate and are written by her husband, they are really a testament to her and her inherent ability to keep me alive and kicking." The poems are affectionate and sensual and intimate, but written in a way that only a poet can write about these things. You'll read this collection and wish that someone would write poems like this about you.

I don't want to give too much of the book away, but here is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems, "Hands":

yes,
they have gripped shovels and pumped gas and a million other things,
but
they were made for you.
they were made to hold your breasts and feel the pulse of your heart
to slide between your legs
and feel your heat.
they were made to interlace with yours.

Have I convinced you to pick up a copy yet? Artwork by Brett Manning adds another element of beauty and tenderness. The pieces of art are sprinkled throughout and feature nude women, often hiding their faces and bodies.

Another really unique aspect of The Waiting Tide, aside from the gorgeous poetry and art, is the fact that on each spread, the poems are printed in both Spanish and English. Bradley says, "I don't read Spanish, but there's something beautiful about reading English and having a reminder of where those words originated. I thought it would be cool to have Spanish translations, as if it would make me feel more connected to Neruda."

There are many instances where I wish I spoke Spanish fluently, but even to just see the juxtaposition of the Spanish and English poems is stunning.

If you don't believe that there is a fresh way in which to write about love, you are wrong. Ryan W. Bradley is a master.

image courtesy of Curbside Splendor

 
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