Blossoms of Decay Review by Jim Bennett, Kindle Reviewer

Social observation in 108 poems. Part warning, part experience. Four stars
Beck has titled this book appropriately. The tragedy of war is a recurring theme (among others, including inequality and public graft.) Turn to To a GI Who Never Read Pushkin for a strong exposure to Beck’s voice. What happens to those left behind?
Again, Images of Despair begins thus: “War veterans /with artificial limbs /waiting in line /at a soup kitchen.” and ends with this: “…approved misery /is a painful surprise /in New York City.” If you think that’s a spoiler, buy the book and read the middle of this poem.
In Hail to the Chief we find this: “The difference with Bush /was George W’s righteousness…” Beck will make you think again about how you think about past leaders.
In In My Lifetime IV: “and could not conceive /of a capitalist system /that relied on war /to nourish a nation.”
For a tour de force of the mishandling of unfortunates by New York City, turn to In My Lifetime VII. This poem will either make you ill or angry.
That should be enough to give you a feel for Beck’s work. Back to the star count. My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. I try hard to be consistent. Beck easily earns four stars with this collection. Your favourites may be different and your personal rating may well be higher.
Kindle Book Review Team member.

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