The Intense Familiar: A Hypertext Review of Keith Taylor’s “Ecstatic Destinations”

Jagari Mukherjee

Keith Taylor’s poetry chapbook Ecstatic Destinations (2018) pays tribute to his neighborhood. His poems cover “the triangle” of landscape. Taylor reminds one of an urban, twenty-first century Thoreau who writes the perfect anti-travel book.

In the opening poem, “The Old Poet, En Plein Air”, the narrator is mistaken. The poem ends with intensity. In “The Gleaners”, captioned “after Roethke and Millet”, the narrator writes of an old couple. There is enough drama here between the pages. Nor is the ekphrastic missing: art and life merge in poems like “In A Corner and “Evening, Late October. Taylor’s poems illustrate Coleridge’s belief. People, objects, actions are held within the framework.

The last poem in the slim volume ends on a park bench. The poem, titled “Condoms, Abandoned on The Park Bench, perfectly showcases the poet’s imagination.  There is an implicit metaphor of the orgasmic ecstasy. The poems come full circle.

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