Wayne’s College of Beauty

Some people say that an artist simply sees the world in a different manner from most people, and while this may be an oversimplification of David Swanger’s poetry, it is at least partially true. The Santa Cruz poet divides his fifth collection of poetry into four sections—“Fathers and Mothers/Husbands and Wives,” “Water/War,” “Known/Unknown,” and “Departure/Arrival”—and it is in these chapters that Swanger turns ugliness into beauty and vice versa. In the touching poem “Alone,” a father and son connect through the loneliness of old age and childhood respectively, presenting a theme that appears throughout the collection. The piece finds a common connection out of a unique distinction and, like many of the poems, the author gladly finds that connection at the same moment the reader does.