Brenda Shaughnessy’s emo-drenched poems dribble down the page like a freshman term-paper. Indeed, the longest poem in So Much Synth revisits, in the poet’s middle middle-age, her angsty teen diary. Proust’s diary might have been interesting at fourteen, or John Stuart Mill’s, or Marie Curie’s; but the diaries of most poets before the age of reason are probably better consigned to the flames.
That is a painful review. “Reading about someone else’s adolescence requires payment in advance.” I do not know the woman and have no opinion beyond the review. But reviewing someone’s else’s awkward adolescence would not be the most attractive view.