Provocative, revealing, and often hilarious poems by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of No Country for Old Men
In his screenplays and short stories, Ethan Coen surprises and delights us with a rich brew of ideas, observations, and perceptions. In his first collection of poems he does much the same. The range of his poems is remarkable–funny, ribald, provocative, sometimes raw, and often touching and profound.
In these poems, Coen writes of his childhood, his hopes and dreams, his disappointments, his career in Hollywood, his physically demanding love affair with Mamie Eisenhower, and his decade-long battle with amphetamines that produced some of the lengthier poems in the collection. You will chuckle, nodding with recognition as you turn the pages, perhaps even stopping occasionally to read.
You don't have to love his movies to enjoy this!
By Excession "excession" - April 26, 2002
I certainly enjoy classic poetry, but I also enjoy parody and fun poetry. This short book has some absolutely hysterical poems, and many of them parallel the classics. The title poem is actually making a great point about how the reckless people in life force the rest of us to yield to their desires.The more bizarre/extreme works in the collection might offend some people, but if you have a good sense of humor and don't get upset easily, then you'll certainly enjoy this work.A quick story: I brought this book into school and passed it around the English department ... almost everyone found a poem to read aloud, and we all had fun discussing them. The consensus favorite was the poem "Reunion," where Coen perfectly hits what goes on at the 10, 20, or 25 year high school reunion. Pick this up and pass it on ... you'll laugh at the least.
At last, poetry for us contented lowbrows...
By "pc25" - January 31, 2002
I have never read a book of poetry from cover to cover before...mainly due to induced narcolopsy after the first few pages. It was therefore with some degree of drowsy trepidation that I received this gift from a close friend. I read the first poem, then the next, then the last...and wondered where this guy had been all my reading life. I found these poems to be surprising, cleverly metered and worded, and very, very funny. I loved "Agent Elegy", a scathingly intimate portait of a Hollywood agent in repose. I laughed out loud over "Churchyard", a collection of cautionary epitaphs, and I completely fell off my chair for "The Hopping Poem", "After Bukowski", and many others. Any book that has a chapter entitled "Clean Limericks--What's the Point, After All?", you gotta like. There's plenty of the other sort as well.I find the fact that these works are the cast-off thoughts of an author who is accomplished and celebrated in... read more
Funny, Iconoclastic and Honest Rhyming Poetry for Adults
By Ben J Korgen - December 26, 2009
Open-minded adult readers who love rhyming poetry, humor and cutting through facades and baloney to the truth about anything will instantly love this little book. It will keep its owner chuckling, nodding in approval and thinking of giving it to someone as an inexpensive gift.
Those who say whatever they feel like saying and relish the work of writers who do the same will be in their glory reading Coen's poems. Those who favor moderation in speech and writing might have reservations. They don't need to be prudes to feel this way. Some are getting tired of writers who flaunt their "openness" when discussing vaginas, penises, drunkenness and the like. If these poems were part of a movie they would be rated R.
The quality of these poems is highly variable. There is some filler in this collection. The best one by far is "The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way." It is worth the price of the book to read this one and a full third of the others.