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Invisible Strings

Invisible Strings, Jim Moore’s sixth collection of poetry, is a collection of sparse, brief poems, focusing on single moments in everyday life. These snapshots are of ordinary events—his mother setting the table, a boy crossing the street with his father, a single car on a dirt road.

Invisible Strings, Jim Moore’s sixth collection of poetry, is a collection of sparse, brief poems, focusing on single moments in everyday life. These snapshots are of ordinary events—his mother setting the table, a boy crossing the street with his father, a single car on a dirt road.

Moore connects the ordinary to the eternal and the inevitability of death. Often self-consciously observant, he speaks of his insecurities and doubts, while always placing them in context of the bigger picture. His self-consciousness at times drives him to look at the world through a filter or through the eyes of another. In “Triumphs,” the poem begins with a speaker analyzing his life while looking out the window at his neighbor “who rarely bothers to speak / now that her son has died.” Though distant, and unseen by the neighbor, the speaker identifies with her and causes her, and consequently, himself, to not be “alone.”

He employs a consistent form throughout the book; though in free verse, each poem maintains the structure of every other line, starting with the second line, being indented, causing a staggered, slowing down of reading through the poems. Each poem is written in plain diction, everyday speech, which pairs well with the everyday events illustrated in the poems. Some poems consist of only a line or two, such as “Cold Gray October Sky”: “I walk under it, head lowered, carrying four books I love.” These very brief poems do not have quite the sense of completion as some of the longer, less elliptical poems in the book. The majority of the poems are less than ten lines long, excluding three or four exceptions, notably the last poem of the collection, “My Swallows Again.” In this poem, Moore returns to the theme of death and posterity, stating, “The swallows are leaving; maybe going away is a thing I too can do with a little flourish and swoop at the end.”

Moore’s Invisible Strings is a collection of short poems of careful observations and equally careful silences.

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