Names Disguised By Betsy Fagin Review

Poetry is inspiring, fun, potent, and more importantly, good for the soul. And what is a better poem than one which rarely uses names, or better still, people with names are hard to come by? Names Disguised is a collection of poems, well curate in sections and feature the issues of urbanization and space. The title of the book is also the title of the first section of the book.

Fagin address issues such as inequality which are a thorn in the flesh even in the contemporary world. Poets’ anthropologies, with audiences ranging from the young to the old, sometimes underrate women. However, Names Disguised comes in handy and makes up for this gap. She writes for all audiences. The author writes concerning hopes and believes in individual ability to influence change.

Betsy Poetry is an epitome of poetry genius and skill mastery.  Names Disguised is divided into three sections. The poems explore a myriad of themes ranging from greed, wealth madness, urbanization, buried eggplant, overconsumption and modernization. The titles of three parts are Names Disguised,  Names Assume Life and Given a Name. One thing that will strike definitely notice as you read is scarcity of names in Fagin poetry. The book simply eschews names. The agency falls on abstraction in a world of absent pronouns.

Opening the first page of the book, we enter a world that is inhabited, strange and enveloped by actions and hardly any agent. For instance, in one of the paragraphs, there is this line  “swift thanks. Thanks a lot ” There is an effect of someone cutting across a remote country and consequently makes it real again. While there are abstract tendencies and elevated tones, the poems have a critical voice driven by grit. The poems are definitely political.

The first part of the poem uses a political unrest language enveloped in a fantastic dream  just like Tristran by Gérard Cartier is an immersive dream. The writer dreams of a world where “leaves are desirous of election” and “licorice profanities fall.” you can’t help imagining that America is actually the world of forgotten castles described in the poem.

The second section of the book focuses on buildings.  Have you imagined this world without people? Where do we draw a line between people and things, objects and subjects? The poems create a sense of uncertainty about ourselves before we even get to the first line “One day will be homegoing” in poem entitled “Transition dynamics.” This section assesses built landscape. The author critiques the urban development, over-consumption and labor policies. Moreover, Fagin explicates how these three issues overlap.

The author shows how space politics apply in both the human body and the built environment.  In this series of three poems, she shed some hope. In the first part, a modern technocapital, is enshrined in a built landscape. In the third part, the author develops an alternative vision, as she does not confine her dream within the capitalist world.  She actually dares to dream outside this world. The important thing is that there is some hope even if it is ambiguous dwelling place.

The poems are a result of scrutiny of the obvious injustices and lack of equality. The poems are fairly enjoyable and well arranged. While they are not forceful, they use abstract, suggestive language. Personally, I found the single poems more fun than the long poems which were subdivided into small stanzas.

Fagin poetry depicts a public world that is openly held out in self-realization. Having read some of her past works, you can’t fail to realize that she is among the best. Betsy work is exactly what you need to read anytime. As one of the admirers of her work, I find I can admit that this proem is something that not only like but really believe in. The poems connect seamlessly as they address the current state of affairs. Fagin composes these poems with loads of intellect and sense of urgency.

Names Disguised a little book, with astounding peculiarity. It puts across an important message on modernization and urbanization. It is our responsibility and duty to ensure this development works to the interest of all humans. It might take you time to internalize it but is worth it. See this review. The book is a great read. I would recommend.

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