Thanks to Marcie’s post last week about the Sealy Challenge, I decided to read some poetry books in August. This is my first time trying the Sealy Challenge, and I already know I won’t make 31 books. That’s okay. I have a small stack of books on my shelf (a novel in verse, poetry collections and anthologies, and children’s books that could be considered poetry :). I also have a few on my Kindle, so here I go.
This week I’ve read just three books: Call Us What We Carry (Amada Gorman), Dictionary for a Better World (Irene Latham and Charles Waters–just a quick read this week — I’ve also committed to revisiting this one daily in my reading and writing for August and September), and Life Songs: My Personal Poetry Anthology (Denise Krebs).
Here is a bit about each of this week’s books.
I love so much about this book by Amanda Gorman. Wow. It is at once mournful and grieving over injustice and the losses from Covid-19, and yet it is still so hope-filled and gracious. One of my favorite poems is called “What We Carry.” That line: “What is marred is still marvelous.” Wow! It reminds me of so many clever and perfect phrases and lines in this book. And what she does with the two meanings of the word ark as the poem progresses is beautiful. You should really read it if you haven’t. I shared one poem with my husband, and now he is reading the whole book, too.
I am excited to read this book slowly over the next two months with Kim Johnson, looking at a word a day. However, this week I read all the poems through in one sitting. It is full of so many new forms and topics by Charles Waters and our own Irene Latham. I loved this shadorma poem–staying open in the midst of so much that could cause despair. That’s what I need now.
This was an anthology of the poems I loved and those I wrote. This was a project I did annually with my junior high students a few years ago. It is a collection of my poems from that chapter in my life, and it was fun to revisit it this week. I wrote that sonnet in 1975.
This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup can be found at Molly Hogan’s Nix the Comfort Zone blog. Be sure to check out the baseball poems she wrote!