Cozy Classics: Mark Twain

Are you ready for adorable? Because these two board books definitely fit the bill!

For anyone who has read my blog for any length of time, you will know that I absolutely love reading the classics. So why not read and enjoy a board book version of some classics?

Cozy Classics: Tom Sawyer and Cozy Classics: Huckleberry Finn by Jack and Holman Wang (Simply Read Books, May 2014) are board book “versions” of the stories illustrated with felt art dolls. Each page has a single word or phrase, such as  or  and the artwork illustrates a scene from the book itself.Continue Reading

Aimless Love by Billy Collins

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.Continue Reading

Poetry of William Carlos Williams

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.
Plums (two)

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.