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Cow Tippers

By Linda Simone

ISBN: 1932447571
Review by: Shaun Perkins


Cow Tippers is a chapbook of nineteen poems, only one of which is about cows. Simone’s poems are, however, full of everyday items, people, and places, shown to us in a simple, lyrical way. The first poem in the book “Day Laborers” is one of the best, as the speaker ponders her inability to get a poem finished, as she watches workers outside:

In six hours, they’ve torn down
and built up a wall to live for decades.

I think of William Carlos Williams with Simone’s poem “Plum” and of Billy Collins’ humor with “Poetry Daily,” wherein the speaker is sent

under the bed
for the poem that got away.

The sort of advice in “Swinging” reminds me of Frost:

Swing as long as
you can pump legs.
Bend knees to back up
then set them stick straight
to charge forward.
Or sail on
with the press of someone
standing just behind
unseen, pushing,

These poems are spare, imagery-laden, full of questions. There are no earth-shattering truths or epiphanies registered in them, but I appreciate them for their tightness and conversational though poetic style. The title poem seems out of place in this collection because the rest of the poems feel like cityscapes. And I wonder why Simone chose this one for her title, as it is one of the weaker poems in the book. Overall, I enjoyed reading the poems, and I would be interested in reading more of Simone’s work. This book is available at www.ShadowPoetry.com.

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