Thursday, June 2, 2011

Off the Shelf: And This Was My Happy Ending

The first time I read Kevin Staniec's And This Was My Happy Ending, I didn't think too much about mechanics and style. I just let myself get drawn into the story. I felt the words as much as read them.

Much of my reaction stems from Staniec's skillful poetic craft. Rhymes are buried inside lines and used with care and precision. By the time Staniec kicks the internal rhyme into full gear, you're hooked.

     My heart, beating, rhythm-
     mically competing, and
     defeating me. Each key,
     delicately caressed,
     dressed in ebony and

The premise behind this book is at once simple and unique. And This Was My Happy Ending is, as the cover blurb declares, "a story of love from a man's perspective." In just 78 pages (each of them not much bigger than a large index card) Staniec explores the narrator's emotions from the first meeting through the evolution of the relationship.

And This Was My Happy Ending is poetry for people who don't think they like poetry. And if you already do, you'll have a distinct advantage going in.

Does our narrator find his happy ending? It's not my place to tell. I can only recommend you grab a hot cup of herbal tea, curl up in your favorite chair, and give yourself time to read this little book from cover to cover.

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