I have been struggling to write this post for a week now. I really like reading poetry but I feel a little clueless as to how to talk about it! Here is my attempt.
I love Billy Collins’ poetry, so I can honestly say I was delighted to receive a digital copy for review consideration. Aimless Love is a collection of poems centered around love, poetry, and death or dying. From the first poem (“Reader”) to the last (a tribute to the victims of September 11), Collins has a casual but careful way of capturing life and love. (more…)
As I was glancing through my poetry books, pondering where to begin my Something in a Summer’s Day Poetry month, I found I shied away from the Victorians. I wanted the modern, frank, clear imagist poetry of William Carlos Williams. I recently posted on my other blog about the picture book about this author, A River of Words by Jen Bryant, a picture book about Williams’ life as a country doctor who could not stop writing. It was time to visit his poetry.
When I think of Williams, I immediately think of the clever irony in “This is Just to Say,” the poem about eating the plums from the ice box. I love the tone in that poem! It’s so real. I can picture the narrator of the poem eating those cool plums, and I feel just as jealous as the person to whom the narrator is speaking. I remember reading “The Red Wheelbarrow” in ninth grade. I did not understand it then, and I’m not sure I do now, but I love the colorful image it creates in my mind.
Some other poems I enjoyed included the following. In “The Poem and the Poet,” the narrator is frustrated with his own attempt to describe poetry. I love metadiscourse, so this poem is quite appropriate. My favorites were the simple glimpses of life in a rural town at the turn of the century. “Complete Destruction” discusses the burying of a cat, but it is really about the fleas on the cat. What a view of the world! There are many more poems by William Carlos Williams. I hope you get a chance to read some of them. What is your favorite poem by WCW?
I also read on the Poetry Foundation website a little bit about his life. I was struck time and again by his place in history. What a tragic story that he was completely overshadowed by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, which Williams insisted put poetry creativity back a few decades. He was not read much at all while he was alive. While the Lost Generation was off in Paris together, he was delivering babies in his small town of Rochester, New Jersey.
I must admit I’m a bit curious to read The Waste Land now to see what the fuss was. But I suspect I that I will prefer the simple and clear images William Carlos Williams evokes in his poetry.
I’ve decided it’s pretty hard to keep up with life these days. At least, it’s hard to keep up with life, planning homeschool lessons, raising two kids, and keeping blogging on two blogs! I’m not going away, but this is how things go.
I have read a number of fantastic books in the past months that I’ve never posted about. Here is a run-down of some of them. Let me know if there is one that you’d like to hear more about. (more…)
Somehow, my thoughts on A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (1929) were never recorded! I finished it quite a few weeks ago. As a novel to enjoy in my free time, A Farewell to Arms fell short. However, as a novel that perfectly captures the era in which it was written and the subtlety of its message with masterful writing, A Farewell to Arms certainly has its place. It is well deserving of its classic status, even though I personally can’t say I was a fan. (more…)
James Fenimore Cooper created an American heritage in his historical fiction novels of the American frontier. For that reason alone I would be glad to say I’ve finally read one of his works. The Last of the Mohicans (first published in 1826) is a romanticized story of the dying days of the Native American culture. Taking place during the French and Indian Wars (also called the Seven Years’ War), The Last of the Mohicans places a few Americans in the midst of a forest full of blood-thirsty Indians. Only with the help of the all-American hero, Natty Bumpo called Hawkeye, do the Americans have any chance of making it through the wilds of America alive. (more…)