Bill Snyder writes lovely poems. They are subtly evocative, conveying feelings largely through meticulous descriptions of surroundings. The locale remains unnamed, a port town with a cathedral and steep hillsides where fishermen bring home octopi and women cook cabbage soup. Often the speaker is “we” though sometimes the other person barely appears. Yet even these are love poems, a sharing of experience. This is a moving and worthy collection.
—Hunt Hawkins, author of Teaching Approaches to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, The Secret Sharer and The Domestic Life
William Snyder’s Hunger in a Cat’s Yellow Eye, the latest of his chapbooks, is a trip to “where the sea curves far away …,” a land of octopus men and octopus urns, of “tilts and shadows … felt in everything,” a land where “…old coaches— /sides of slatted wood, netted racks/ above the open windows—trundle over/ sagging track…” These poems come from the able hands of a poet whose lines, thoughts, descriptions, and honesties won’t disappoint. For all of us hungry creatures, Snyder’s work “… returns us to (the best of) ourselves … a basin filled with dance, with joy …”
—Sharon Chmielarz, author of The J Horoscope
These poems are terrific—they’re quiet and then explosive, like friendly little grenades that go off in your hand and leave you awash in feeling and insight. The title of one is “The Trains Run Irregularly,” and you say to yourself, boy, do they ever. Yet sharing a life with another person somehow makes everything turn out just fine, doesn’t it? I love the elemental nature of these poems; one has the lovers entering a restaurant in search of “beer, / bread, peppery fish.” Another poem ends with “your brown eyes absorbing everything,” and I love that even more, love the way two people travel, share, tease, quarrel with, and love each other so well that you think, yeah, I’m just going to toss this train schedule out the window. What matters is us.
David Kirby, author of More Than This