Poetry Review: The Library – Chris Woods

Chris Woods, in his poem ‘The Library’, brings forth his opinions of society. He draws on the imagery of drunken ‘lads’ lingering around the closed library with walls decorated with graffiti. He shows a dark, menacing scene that seems to echo his thoughts on the death of books and reading through the progression of modern society: a notion also picked up in his other poem ‘Video Kid’.

I didn’t like this poem. I mean, I liked Wood’s use of sound in ‘The Library’ and how he writes each line as short, quick phrases. However, as much as this brings a sense of rhythm to his work, it also depreciates the description. I prefer a poem that creates a vision through adjectives and really brings that world to life… and for me Woods really hasn’t done enough. He vaguely captures an essence of the imagery he wants to present, but he doesn’t follow through with it. I think both his rhythm and his delivery of descriptive scenes would be greatly aided by a mix of short, snappy lines and longer more descriptive lines. As it is, the vast majority of the poem consists of facts: ‘Shut at 7’ and ‘No chance of getting in’. It would be like writing a poem about a forest in autumn and forgetting about all of the wonderful magical colours and feelings, while instead writing ‘The leaves fall’ and ‘The trees are tall’. Furthermore, to make up for the lack of emotive response in this poem, Woods instead uses a sudden expletive. While it’s probably part of the whole statement, or a shock ploy, it simply makes the poem too dark for me and rings an echo of desperate. Adding that ingredient to my parody Woods-poem, we have:
‘The leaves fall
The trees are tall
Fuck, they’re high!’


While I shan’t judge the poet’s work just by this one poem (as I enjoyed ‘Video Kid’ more than ‘The Library’), I’d hope to find a change in style and setting in his other poems to enable me to really be captured in his presented world.

Rating: 4/10


One thought on “Poetry Review: The Library – Chris Woods

  1. In the Library, I felt it was dark and felt closed. All life was on the outside, the kids on the outside. It felt like the library was a relic, no longer relevant to the young people. In the Video I got this came feel like a video on a slow rewind and the words made the sound. That,s what it left me with.

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