What poetry I've recently read or I am currently reading:
- Eireann Corrigan's poetic memoir, You Remind me of You. It is the story of Corrigan's struggle with anorexia, her relationship with her boyfriend, and his struggles with depression. Upon first read, I loved it. The book combines three loves of mine: poetry, memoirs, and young adult literature. It was a gorgeous, fast, emotional read. But, the more I come back to it, the less impressed I am. Corrigan over-uses shock value. Her writing is occasionally heavy handed and her attempts at irony often fall flat. Crucial events are rehashed half a dozen times throughout the book. I applaud Corrigan for what she has overcome and the work she has produced, but it is not a work I'd recommend for more than a quick read.
- Billy Collins' 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. There seems to be this cult of lovers of Billy Collins. I do not want to join the following, because I'm stubborn like that. But dang, I'd have to admit the man is terrific. I own a copy of Collins' anthology Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and I love it. It's just such a fun collection. While I have not yet had the time to really familiarize myself with 180 More, my initial impression is one of full approval. I must give a nod to Collins for spreading accessible poetry across America.
- Ted Kooser's Delights and Shadows, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. To be fair to Mr. Kooser, I will refrain from commentary on the work as a whole until I have finished it. But tonight, I'd like to share with you one poem of Kooser's that I just love.
A Rainy MorningTed KooserA young woman in a wheelchair,wearing a black nylon poncho spattered with rain,is pushing herself through the morning.You have seen how pianistssometimes bend forward to strike the keys,then lift their hands, draw back to rest,then lean again to strike just as the chord fades.Such is the way this womanstrikes at the wheels, then lifts her long white fingers,letting them float, then bends again to strikejust as the chair slows, as if into a silence.So expertly she plays the chordsof this difficult music she has mastered,her wet face beautiful in its concentration,while the wind turns the pages of rain.