Powers is a poet first, so THE YELLOW BIRDS is spare, incredibly precise, unimproveable.
Like the best war poets, Kevin Powers' real subject is not the battle for land or governance, but the battle for one man's soul. In dramatising that inner conflict, he achieves a poetry both urgent and universal.
There is a plain-speaking, backyard tone to these poems, its ancestry stretching all the way back to such writers as Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving... it is probably advisable to dip into this piecemeal rather than attempt to absorb its brutal richesse in one sitting... To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, perhaps every poet should think meanly of himself for not producing a debut collection quite as powerful as this one.
Kevin Powers has produced a masterpiece of war literature and a classic.
Extraordinary...Brilliantly observed and deeply affecting.
A powerful and very affecting collection.