I once wrote in this column that Michael Odom’s poetry reminded me in certain aspects—not in every way, of course, because he is not derivative; his voice is truly original and unique—of the poetry of Dylan Thomas.
Startling imagery, unexpected words yoked together by violence, a certain defiant voice … when I read Odom, I’m reminded of Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle” and “Sullen Art.”
Some of the poetry in Odom’s recent collection Selene possesses that same defiance, and I think these poems may appeal especially to men of a certain age – either those in their early twenties or those in their late 40s (like me).
Why? Because these two age groups are connected by their relationship to ideals and the hopes they carry for their lives.
The twentysomethings dismiss the 9-t- 5 treadmill and believe that life holds more for them, that they’ll overcome that treadmill soon enough; the fortysomethings dismiss that same treadmill even as they recognize they’ve been walking on it for the past twenty years.