While such narrative structure allows for a more multifaceted take on traditional linear plot construction, the jarring leaps in time and indecisive switches between narrative voices render “Run Me to Earth” shallow and groundless.
The musician has a keen eye for detail and orchestration ― just when she brings up an anecdote that seems out of place, it suddenly begins to make sense in the larger framework of her life — the last chapter of the book is all about thumbs in her life, just because she wanted to end on a funny note.
It’s often jarring to find art that solely expresses themes contained in everyday life. Perhaps because popular artists don’t lead “normal” lives, or perhaps because people aren’t interested in the ones that do.
Even in a book defined by its skillful handling of emotions, Evans still manages to impress with his mastery of poetic form. He frequently varies his style, switching from long lines with no stanza breaks throughout an entire poem to curt, choppy lines split into small stanzas.
Olds’s spontaneous and thematically inconsistent recollection of events sacrifices an even flow between poems to obtain an authentic and unfiltered glimpse into her mind. But without access to Olds’s mind, “Arias” requires multiple readings to offer more than just this glimpse.
One might even say Equi’s attention to sonic detail brings us back to the “good old days” of poetry, before technology got in the way, but that would be cliched and dismissive of the leaps and bounds we have made since then — a lesson that perhaps Equi herself could learn.