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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Review of That Swing by X.J. Kennedy

X.J. Kennedy knows what he’s doing. Into his ninth decade he is one of a handful of poetry grandmasters who revived the ongoing formalist tradition of rhyme and meter, giving it new life and introducing original beats and jazzy tones. His countermeasures against the status quo not only presented an alternative to the undisciplined brand of free verse popular at the time, but rejected its mirror image, the old, tired, formalist drivel being foisted by academia onto that unsuspecting generation of long-suffering students.   

 Much of Kennedy’s verse is light and funny, but not that light, and not that funny. He has serious things to say and significant points to make. His accessible, colloquial language and breezy wit disguise much.  Kennedy’s new book entitled That Swing promises a lot and delivers with a slew of good poems and a couple of great ones. For more of my review of That Swing go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2019/11/that-swing-poems-2008-2016-by-xj-kennedy.html

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