The Players: Poems
For any parent or grandparent who has sat at a Little League ball field long enough to earn an imprint of bleachers on his or her backside, the opening section (“Manhood”) of this collection of marvelous poetry will strike a startling, true chord. Every word is absolutely correct, and the way they are strung together is stunning. The second section is “American Comedy,” a series of sonnets depicting modern-day life and examining such things as losing flip-flops at the beach and a roadside stand run by an Amish family. “Interlude” has three longer poems inspired by literary characters. The last section, “The Players,” takes a looks at the autumn of lives and the impact on different generations in a family.
To say that Jill Bialosky has a way with words would be a gross understatement. Every poem in this collection takes a fresh look at the way ordinary people live, grow, change, and love. If John Cheever had written poetry instead of short stories, his books would have looked something like this awe-inspiring collection. These rich poems can turn even those who don’t think they like poetry into readers and lovers of this form.