Monday, April 19, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: "Golf Sonnets" by James Long Hale

It's been a good year so far from a Golf Lit point of view, as I've had the pleasure of reading not one but two books of original golf poetry. Today's offering is "Golf Sonnets" by James Long Hale. In his own words, the author is "an avid amateur golfer who freely gives and gets Mulligans, understates his handicap, and desperately needs the proceeds from this book to cover his losses. He owns seven drivers, five putters, and his widow enjoys gardening." This charming little book is roughly the size of a golf course yardage guide, and it contains 18 very well written golf poems of very disciplined, consistent syntax. The syncapation is quite Prussian, and the author clearly has wrestled significantly with the content in order to make it fit his meter. The end result is funny and witty and insightful, and it's clearly the product of a mind who spends many hours a day thinking about the game of golf.
Each poem covers one aspect of the game, such as "The Equipment", "The Swing", or "The Course". About "The Attire", as an example Mr. Hale writes:
"But now, for some, Golf's merely an excuse
To dress like pimps on Forty-Second Street;
With fuchsia pants and shirts of bright chartreuse,
And alligator wintips on their feet."
SCORE
Birdie. "Golf Sonnets" is a great gift idea, to golfers and non-golfers alike. It's an easy read without being simplistic, and the straightforwardness of the rhymes masks the complexity of the construction.
For more information about "Golf Sonnets", please visit http://www.golfsonnets.com/, or send an email to the author at info@golfsonnets.com.

3 comments:

  1. Is this book by a frustrated golfer or a frustrated poet? More American vanity press junk pretending to be literary.

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