by Tomas Lowe Taylor. 2004. In two volumes. 900 plus pages. Anabasis. Xtant Books. Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Ct. Charlottesville, VA 22903 and/or Anabasis Press, Oysterville, Washington 98641-0216.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Composed between 1974 and 1976 ’ or so dates indicate ’ it is remarkable how consistently useful and poignant and provocative the poetry of this voluminous, major poetic event becomes as a reader engages and gorges within its poetry. And then, to return to its girth again and again listening and responding to its beckoning call. This form of opus event in the life of a poet is a measure of a poet’s submission to the vastness of art and Thomas Lowe Taylor has here produced a poem that can only be an homage to the endlessly occurring pleasure of ever evolving form. It is in fact a document of a literary life as the poem progresses from page to page across the years of composition. A widely sprawling book of poetry, rather than book of poems, pondering form and measured by poetic music and space, the work has a unique rhythm that will intoxicate and hypnotize any reader. Of course, in essence and in the end, it is a celebration of poet and poetry and, therefore, a form of wedding. Thomas Lowe Taylor tosses one hellovaparty and all the muses arrived in risqu’ gowns! My copy of the Cantos is 802 pages long and there are at least 875 numbered poems in The Homags of Eagle. Hence, Thomas Lowe Taylor thrashes Pound! But like Pound’s big poem work, and Olson’s, it is work one returns to, again and again, filling up each time and knowing that there is endless more.