Silence Louder Than A Train – Poetry Review

In trying to expand my reading genres I decided to read and review a book of modern poetry quite recently. My only previous reading experience of poetry beyond those of my school days has been that of the war poets, namely Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, and more recently, that of friend and fellow blogger Tom Benson, whose works I’ve previously reviewed on here.

Among some of the blogs I follow is that of Dean J. Baker, and having read and often enjoyed a lot of his work (though not always fully appreciated, often having to read through previous comments for some of the meaning – my understanding and appreciation of poetry still being somewhat limited), I thought I’d jump in at the deep end read/review his book, ‘Silence Louder Than A Train’, for no other reasons than the title and liking the cover (possibly something to do with working in the railway industry – I know, totally illogical, and no, the book has nothing to do with trains or the railway). Whilst still being no expert, I did nonetheless enjoy it for the greater part.

http://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/

silence pic2Silence Louder Than A Train, by Dean J. Baker  

(Available in print & eBook formats from Amazon and from Dean J. Baker’s blog)

The title alone is enough to pique the reader’s interest. Who among us cannot remember a time when silence alone didn’t ring in our ears as loud as thunder?

This anthology by Dean J. Baker is as diverse in style as it is in its subject matter. One of the aspects I liked most was the complete absence of predictability; written in two parts, the author writes of love and its tribulations, of the noble and often not-so-noble aspects of the human condition, of the turmoil of the creative process, and of his views and opinions of life and the people and society about him.

In terms of style, in some of the poems there is only the slightest and almost imperceptible homage to rhyme and alliteration, and yet it’s there nonetheless. In others he simply allows the words themselves to speak their meaning, almost in seeming abandonment of traditional poetic verse and structure – and still it works.

If all the reader is looking for in a poetry anthology are the poetic ramblings of someone trying to impress with their command of language or a gently rolling stream of consciousness then this probably isn’t it; but for poignant and thought provoking insight and new ideas, one would be hard pressed to do better than Dean J. Baker’s ‘Silence Louder Than A Train.’

A bold and refreshing approach to modern poetry, one that breaks the rules when necessary and yet conforms when it suites. Highly recommended…

 

Baker1a           baker4a   Links to further works by Dean J. Baker.       baker2a

 

 

 

About echoesofthepen

Middle aged man, aspiring writer and author, one grown up son and young grand son, currently working in the rail industry but actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on April 25, 2014, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Indie Author Review Exchange and commented:

    Silence Louder Than A Train – Poetry Review… Reblogged from my personal blogsite…

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  2. Another good job here Paul and from the comments of others, there are a fair number of folk out there willing to give poetry a chance. I think I’ll invest in some graphics and redesign the covers of my anthologies … I have a few spare minutes tucked away next Wednesday … lol.
    Keep it up mate, you’re doing a great job, but remember to schedule enough time for your own projects. Time percentages and effort are down to you, but I’d suggest you get the ratio back in your own favour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, know exactly what you mean there; fortunately, most, if not all of my reading gets done to and from work (and at work – hope none of my managers are reading this, lol), as do the review notes, so it doesn’t really take up too much of my scheduled writing time.

      Enjoy you day’s rest from the AtoZchallenge,

      Cheers,
      Paul…

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  3. Paul, no bother at all. I know you are a busy guy and it’s kind of you to do all you do for me and others. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a good idea, isn’t it, to expand your reading horizons. I was interested to read this. I have just been reading a collection of peoms by a Scottish poet, Elizabeth Burns, called ‘Held’. I thought they were wonderful. The theme is containers and vessels, how they play a part in our lives from the moment we start to exist…I hadn’re read any poetry, really since school, but now I would like to read more, so I will look Dean J. Baker up. Wish I knew more about structure etc now, how poetry works 🙂 ps. thankyou v much for reading my story today and commenting today! im glad you enjoyed and saw different angles 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m in pretty much the same boat as you, not having read much poetry for a long time or knowing too much about its theory. As for learning more about poetry, Veronica Haidar on here recommended a really good book on that very subject in her comment on my ‘Littlest Lance Jack’ post awhile back: A book by Steve Fry called, “The Ode Less Travelled”.

      Cheers for stopping by again Stephen.

      Regards,
      Paul…

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  5. Paul, I would be interested too in your suggestion once you finish the challenge. Thank you so much. Happy weekend. It’s here. yay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great… Not actually doing the challenge myself, but I have been following, and tweeting/promoting a few people that have. I’ll draw up a rough draft for you to look at once I’ve read and reviewed your book, and take it from there…

      Thanks again
      Paul…

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  6. I can’t claim to understand poetry but do read it from time to time. The title and your review makes me want to read this collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wouldn’t claim to understand it as much as many others here either, but I am starting to read and enjoy more it since starting to read some of Tom’s and Cheryl’s, and now of course, Dean’s; just goes to show you’re never too old to discover and appreciate new things and other forms of writing that you’d largely written off as being beyond you.

      Thanks again for stopping by during this busy time for you. Looking forward to seeing you back in the group after the AtoZchallenge too.

      Best wishes as always
      Paul…

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  7. Well Paul, I’ve followed Dean for a while as he follows me but my liking for his work has nothing to do with that bit of it. My PC has been broken and been repaired and I just know I had to find some of his poems that I cut and pasted purely for reading pleasure. As to why? It is the rhythm of the words, plus the emotions that make it for me. I may not write it but I am a big poetry fan and it was lovely to see the review here today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I said on Dean’s page, I was a bit reticent about reviewing someone as well and known and popular, as it’s not really one of my strengths (poetry), so needless to say, I’m quite relieved it was well received (and that you liked it too).

      Thanks again,
      Paul…

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  8. I, like you Paul, have hardly read poetry since school days, but I must change that In the past couple of years, the only poetry book I chose to read (as opposed to happen to have stumbled across) was Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Rapture’, which, like a great novel, I just couldn’t put down. I will take a look at the poetry you have reviewed here

    Liked by 1 person

  9. good to see this about poetry – one thing I do is read aloud the final poem, feel the internal rhyme, the sense and sensibility of the work, so that while it is ‘modern’ there is within a classical structure..

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  10. Reblogged this on Dean J. Baker – Poetry, and prose poems and commented:
    and a few more reasons to own my books….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Poetry Inspector and commented:
    Wonderful review of *Silence Louder Than a Train* Thank you for sharing this Paul Ruddock

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great to see this review about Dean J Baker, Paul. I love his work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thanks. Somebody else saying they already know of and like a person’s work is just as good as any review as well.

      Much appreciated,
      Paul..

      * One of the things I want to do in the near future, after everyone’s finished with their ‘AtoZchallenge’ posts for this year, is some author interview/profile posts if you’d be interested sometime? It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, but decided not to til I’d built up at least a bit of a small readership.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Will definitely be read. I once heard, partly, a discussion on BBC that poetry is dead/dying, that it is no longer important to the society. Something of this sort, anyway. But I think poetry is still useful. I love to read poetry when I’m idling in the house. Modern poets seem to care less and less for traditional stylistic devices such as rhymes, alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia, cacophony, euphony, epigram, metonymy, etc, but, as children, it is those devices that really endeared as to poetry. We learned their names gradually as we were growing up, but they had always been there. I have two extremely useful books: Norton’s Anthology of English Literature and Norton’s Anthology of American Literature, both of which are second volumes of the series–and aren’t the poems and fiction therein truly endearing? The prose is potent. From 17th Century to 20th. From the era of the likes of William Blake through Percy Shelly, Lord Byron, Tennyson, to Dickinson, Eliot, Lessing, etc. They are my most treasured books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for such a thoughtful comment Peter; reading poetry again is something I’ve only recently started doing, not really having read a lot since school – and apart from Chaucer and his, ‘The Knight’s Tale’, never really studied it very much either (that will be changing). Can’t thank you enough for your observations here…

      *and thanks also for your comments in the BBF group, and the mention of similarity of title to a Stephen King novel, much appreciated.

      Cheers,
      Paul…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The title is catchy for sure, and the poems seems like one worth putting my feet up to enjoy. Nice book cover too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks again Michelle. I don’t stop by your way as often as I’d like, but I’ll be taking a look in the G+ group and catching up with your efforts later today.

      Best wishes,
      Paul…

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  15. It sounds like a good read. By the time I get to publish my book of poetry, you’ll be a pro! 🙂
    Thanks for another good review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You really are much too kind. I sort of know what I like when it comes to poetry, but an expert/pro? Sadly I think I’ve left it a little late in life to go down that academic road, but thank you anyway for your confidence in me – I certainly won’t need any help or professional expertise to know that I’ll like yours when it’s published!

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  1. Pingback: Silence Louder Than A Train – Poetry Review | Push My Fu*king Buttons, Please.. by Dean J. Baker

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