Doug Barbour has loosened up the ghazal's formal constraints so he can breathe more freely and deeply with in it. Breath Takes takes breath as its central focus, inviting the reader to heed the poet's inspired listening to the worlds of sound, sensation, and sentiment that breath contains.
contemporary response to the ghazal form. Breath Takes sustains the ghazal's traditional im petus, Love, while introducing the element of Breath, reminding us that the heart and lungs really do work together. The ghazals, apostrophes and translations gathered here make bright and keenly palpable what's become automatic - the mechanics of our reading, the mechanics of our breathing. Breath Takes is CPR for the poetry lover.
With . . . Breath Takes, [Douglas Barbour] gives us the best of both worlds by gifting us with a wondrously literate book of poems that works endlessly as a textual construct (especially with its witty appropriations and literary references), but also manages to deftly underline its roots as a fundamentally oral genre. . . . as literate and deeply theoretically satisfying the book may be, id be remiss not to mention how profoundly the work moved me emotionally and the deeply layered lyric soul all the verse displayed.
—Gilbert Bouchard Edmonton Journal