Sunday, January 27, 2019

Book Review of Background Noise: Poems, Vignettes and Word Explosions

“Remember when we heard the thunder
Saw the light that made us wonder
As the rain fell in the night
The years have passed ̶ the tender aching
Pages turned ̶ memories fading
As the rain fell into the night”

—excerpt from “Seasons of Paper”

There’s something about some poems that beg to be read aloud. I came across several such poems in Background Noise and just had to share them with the nearest family member. Reading poems aloud is such fun!

Book: Background Noise: Poems, Vignettes and Word Explosions by Jerry Danielsen
Genre: Poetry, Nonfiction
My rating: 4/5 stars
One-word description: Thought-provoking

I particularly enjoyed the poems that were on social commentary, from the longing for deeper relationships in “Salt and Chocolate” to the overabundance in consumerism reflected in “Marketing to Death” and “iWant”. The first poem made me think about my own blog and the way I probably have way too many links that people don’t bother with. What if we shared writing for the sake of writing instead of for the sake of views?

“It’s all good at

“Click here to find
More places to click on
And get a change
For the possibility
Of more clicking”

—excerpt from “Marketing to Death”

My main complaint, however, was that after a while, some of the poems felt a little too on the critical side, particularly when he wrote, “Maybe somebody / will buy this book”. As a writer, I completely understand the feelings of longing for one’s voice to be heard. But as a reader, I felt a little indignant.

In the end, the poems made me think a lot. Even as I typed this review on my laptop, my mom begged me to go on a walk with her, so I set the review aside and left. After all, what good is reading poems that make you think about technology if you simply embrace it? What good is reading books about life if we don’t live it?

In all, I gave Background Noise 4/5 stars for some excellent, thought-provoking poems yet some repetitively critical ones. I would recommend the book to readers of poetry, and I will be keeping an eye out for more of Danielsen’s work.

Let’s chat! Read any good poetry lately? Has Background Noise made it to your To-Be-Read list yet? What’s your take on the pervasiveness of technology in our culture today?


More clicking here (similar book reviews): Audacity and Full Cicada Moon


  1. I honestly don't read much poetry but I WANT TO! Sometimes there are poems in the beginnings of books I read (like recently The Cruel Prince and also Queen of air and Darkness had some amazing ones) and it made me super keen to try reading more poetry some time 👀

    1. Poetry in fantasy is one of my favorite things! Also, I know how much you like The Cruel Prince, but I couldn't get into it last year. *hides in hole* Now I just may give it another go!