Category Archives: Poetry

Poetry 2022 Edition 2

Poetry Goal 2022:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #3 by Jacqueline Woodson, Puffin Books 2016, 366 pages

“Nothing in the world is like this-
a bright white page with
pale blue lines. The smell of a newly sharpened pencil
the soft hush of it
moving finally
one day
into letters.”

“I am not gifted. When I read, the words twist
twirl across the page.
When they settle, it is too late.
The class has already moved on.

I want to catch words one day. I want to hold them
then blow gently,
watch them float
right out of my hands.”

“Even the silence
has a story to tell you.
Just listen. Listen.”

This has been the longest collection of poetry I have read yet; spanning March to August. I loved every page, every poem, every thought expressed. Five slice of pie and YES! It had pie. (but the new goodreads layout has hidden my updates so I don’t know the page nor full passage. Also, sad to say, I no longer have the book – did I misplace it? give it to a friend? sell it to the Half Price Books so I can buy more books? I can’t recall.)


Collection #4 by Grace Paley, Farrar,Straus and Giroux 2008, 83 pages

On OCCASION

I forget the names of my friends

and the names of the flowers in

my garden . . . my friends remind me

Grace . . . it’s us . . . the flowers just

stand there stunned by the sun

I very much enjoyed this collection. She’s smart and sharp, even as she describes blanks in her mind and her memory. It’s about living, living through what you have to but not necessarily being happy about it. Rather, determined.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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Poetry 2022 Edition 1

Poetry Goal 2022:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #1 by Elisabeth Barrett Browning, Bard Books Avon Hearst ~1950, 96 pages

XX

Beloved, my Beloved, when I think
That thou wast in the world a year ago,
What time I sate alone here in the snow
And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
No moment at thy voice, . . but, link by link,
Went counting all my chains, as if that so
They never could fall off at any blow
Struck by thy possible hand . . . why, thus I drink
Of life’s great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
With personal act or speech,—nor ever cull
Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
Who cannot guess God’s presence out of sight.

(Annoyed and afraid. Afraid to utilize my Goodreads Librarian status to update this edition and I’m not sure why… I probably should. Please feel free to shoot me a vote of confidence to update the publisher/date/add illustrator/estimate of date published blahblahblah…)

Anyway, I didn’t find many of these sonnets romantic. Mostly confusing or boring. I just don’t have an appreciation for this “story”. What I really want to know is what exactly did EBB suffer from and what exactly did she and her love enjoy once they escaped Papa’s overbearing captivity! Did she thrive in Italy? I am missing some key details and am probably just nosy for juicy gossip. Oooops.

I enjoyed the first few lines of her most famous one, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” but mostly these bits were obscure and non-impressive. Sorry not sorry. Probably makes me a heathen or something.

Still. I’m glad to have read these. No pie, three stars.


Collection #2 by Rachel Long, Tin House 2021, 79 pages

Black Princess! Black Princess!


We’re keen to avoid any awkward questions,
should they arise, about how a yogi single mother
could afford to send her daughter to a good school.
But, all verified, she’s through!
Now, we must comb through your hair.
Just joking! We’ve attended training on that issue.

.
.
.

I found many of these poems confounding? if that isn’t too strong a word. But I appreciate the sense that she really owns these poems. I sense a delight, no hesitancy, some attitude and spark.

.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2021 Edition 4

Poetry Goal 2021:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #6 by Maggie Smith, Tupelo Press 2017, 100 pages

From the blurb at goodreads.com: Poems written out of the experience of motherhood, inspired by the poet watching her own children trying to read the world like a book they’ve just opened, knowing nothing of the characters or plot.

 Past

 What is the past?

We need a word for everything before,

See how my saying this is already there, and there

for good ̶ no fishing it out of that deep water,

the deepest there is. The past is a tide that drags out

but won’t return to shore: even your question has been

carried off. Look, you can see it floating.

(only the first half of the poem, get the book to read the rest.)

Four slices of pie.


Collection #7 by Rita Dove, WW Norton 1999, 96 pages

from the poem on page 76

“The situation is intolerable”

Hush, now. Assay

the terrain: all around us dark

and the perimeter in flames,

but the stars—

tiny, missionary stars—

on high, serene, studding

the inky brow of heaven.

. . .

Our situation is intolerable, but what’s worse

is to sit here and do nothing.

O yes. O mercy on our souls.

I found these poems accessible and confident, powerful. Five slices of pie.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

Poetry 2021 Edition 3

Poetry Goal 2021:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #5 by Veronica Golos, Story Line Press 2003, 75 pages

From the blurb at goodreads.com: These mystical lyrics retell the biblical story of Ha’gar.

 

(no sample…)

 

So, sadly, I had a review typed and ready and the WordPress Block Scheme ate it. I couldn’t find it, so I am assuming that is what happened.

I gave this collection 3 stars at first and I don’t recall how I came to that rating; I can assume that my appreciation was from a distance, that I didn’t quite connect though I do think I can admire the passion and raw emotion – THAT is what I recall. I also think it had more than just the Old Testament references but parallel’s a Civil War era story.

I gave the book away thinking I had saved a snippet already. So I leave it blank here.

 


Collection #6 by Jeanne Griggs, Broadstone Books 2021, 56 pages

Note on a postcard of the Santa Monica Pier

We emerge blinking, holding our coats,

into the warmth and exhaust of the

LA freeway, cars queued up to the horizon,

everyone waiting a turn, anxious

for the sight of oranges ripening,

sun setting on the sea, colors we could

only imagine in gray Ohio February.

From the postcard Jeanne sent me promoting her collection (I was totally thrilled to receive! and ordered the book straight away!!)


Link is here to addendum page of what was inspired LOL

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

Poetry 2021 Edition 2

Poetry Goal 2021:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #3 by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, Alice James Books 2009, 61 pages

from William

And when you 

open the storm door

to let him in,

he will step onto the mat,

and bow his head a little,

and cry like a man.

 p.36

This collection was a gut punch. She wrote this as a tribute and honor of her daughter, a way to deal with her grief when her daughter was murdered by her boyfriend. Devastating.



Collection #4 ♦ by Lia Purpura, Penguin Poets 2015, 86 pages

It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful

Chosen

It could’ve been

an everyday

brown-and-cream

sparrow, or grackle

with oily rainbow wings

but so near my eye,

its robe, its sash,

its fire, flare, gash —

it’s visiting me.

Hard to think

otherwise.

P.77

I really enjoyed this collection. It was postcard-worthy! short and poignant. Gave me new lens to view and think about things.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Swann

Thoughts by Carol Shields, Open Road Media 2013 (orig 1987), 386 pages

Challenge: Readalong with Laila

Genre/Theme: Literary Mystery

Type/Source: eBook / Kindle purchase

What It’s About: Mary Swann was a poor woman who wrote poems in a small town in Ontario Canada. When a literature professor finds an old copy of Swann’s poetry collection, she brings laudatory attention to the work. In her investigation of who this woman could be so that she can shine academic light on its brilliance, she finds out that the poet was violently murdered by her husband on the very day she got the publishing deal.

The academic world sensationalizes and salivates over anything they can find on how Swann could have come into her genius. Items begin to disappear: the only known photograph of the poet goes missing, luggage is lost, the poet’s diary is misplaced. Is something sinister happening?

Thoughts: The reader knows but the characters do not figure out that someone has been pilfering items until near the end of the book when there is an academic symposium and all can compare notes. It’s not like me to figure out the whodunnit but it was pretty obvious. I can’t say I ma happy with the ending but I enjoyed my time with the unraveling and the characters who all loved Mary in their own way. My favorite was the publisher, an editor in his 80s who wrote fun letters.

With it being written in the mid-80s, I was loving the references to politics and cultural touchpoints. And it had pie!

“It isn’t important.” “Everything’s important.” “I can’t remember what I was going to say.” She looked down at her rhubarb pie and pledged herself not to jeopardize what was left of the evening.

Rating: 4 slices of pie.

Readers might be willing to tolerate the new typeface imposed on them, and no one seemed to miss the old “Pie of the Week” feature when it disappeared from the Women’s page, but…

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 7

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection # 13 Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood, Penguin Books 2014, 66 pages

List of Cross-Dressing Soldiers

. . .

Someone thought long and hard how to best

make my brother blend into the sand. He came

back and he was heaped up himself like a dune,

he was twice the size of me, his sight glittered

deeper in the family head he hid among himself,

and slid, and stormed, and looked the same

as the next one, and was hot and gold and some-

where else.

+ .  .  .

Five slices of pie

Collection # 14 The Trouble with Poetry  by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperback Edition 2007 (orig 2005), 91 pages

The Trouble with Poetry
.
.
.

Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise lide a feather in the wind.

Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.

But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry.

I wasn’t as fond of this collection like the first one I experienced but that’s OK.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

PI MENTIONED!  “Later, genius became someone who could take a sliver of chalk and square pi a hundred places out beyond the decimal point.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 6

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection # 11 by Mary Oliver,Penguin Books 2012, 82 pages

The Man Who Has Many Answers

The man who has many answers

is often found in the theaters of information

where he offers, graciously,

his deep findings.

While the man who has only questions,

to comfort himself, makes music

 

Collection # 12 by Ross Gay, the University of Pittsburgh Press 2015, 102 pages

To the Mistake

. . . drive to check

their beckoning phones

which mostly

bless them they

don’t the mistake

I say is a gift

don’t be afraid

see what it teaches you

about what the poem

can be I know

+ .  .  .

Lively and life affirming. One of the book blurbs says it is a “bright book of life”. You can’t help imagine that Gay  is always smiling and living life big and bright. So much movement and joy in these poems.

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 5

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #9 break your glass slippers by Amanda Lovelace, Andrews McMeel 2020, 136 pages

sometimes the only difference between not
being meant for something & being meant for
something is the necessary journey it takes for
you to get there.

—replace your self-doubt with patience.

Rating: 3 slices of pie. No pie mentioned. (I am not the ideal audience, methinks)


Collection #10 by Kieran Furey, Longtooth Books 2011, 120 pages

An Old Routine

Trying not to think
what it might mean,
he goes once a week
unbelievingly to Mass,
and once a week too
disbelievingly to another funeral.

At his age, these things are routine.
With one good ear he’s always listening
For the bells to toll for him.

I found this book in the apartment complex shelves. YAY! and they’re good. Lots of poems about family, ancestry, memories, place. I will have to assume it was the right poetry book for the right time in my 2020 poetry adventure.

I’m finding that I really enjoy poems about words and poems and about writing of poems.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 4

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection #7  by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2002, 173 pages

Budapest

My pen moves along the page
like a snout of a strange animal
shaped like a human arm
and dressed in the sleeve of a loose green sweater.

I watch it sniffing the paper ceaselessly,
intent as any forager that has nothing
on its mind but the grubs and insects
that will allow it to live another day.

It wants only to be here tomorrow,
dressed perhaps in the sleeve of a plaid shirt,
nose pressed against the page,
writing a few more dutiful lines

while I gaze out the window and image Budapest
or some other city where I have never been.

 

SO GOOD. I had misgivings and incorrect assumptions about Billy Collins “the famous poet”; he is too famous. But I had not experienced his work, his poems, with just me sitting with each one. I love his stuff! Mostly, I love the devotion he shows to the time it takes, allows. The time a poem bakes, crafts, comes into being, as if he and he alone, is the messenger, or person only to deliver the package. He sits and waits and plays and writes and then a poem emerges. He makes it seem effortless and yet like he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. I am grateful that he allows the poems to come to him and then shares them. I very much love his poems about poems.

(Believe it or not, there is a 1-star review on goodreads; very entertaining.)

Rating: FIVE SLICES


Collection #8 by Lisa J. Starr, Beautifully Produced by the Poet 2008, 116 pages

Other People’s Poems

Perhaps I should leave other people’s poems to other people,
but I am afraid that left unsaid, they grow, they thicken,’
never mind how they accumulate.
The poems of others—this one’s my brother’s.

.
.
.

Your poem, then, my brother—the weariness of knowing
that what’s done is done, except that then it’s yours forever.
It takes twenty years sometimes to discover it’s not that your secret
is so dark; it’s that it’s always with you.

 

I am contacting the poet to see what is the best way to purchase a copy of this. (I don’t want to use the big A place… I suppose I should check if the indie bookstore on Block Island has a copy.) I thought this poems impactful, poignant, and relatable to the point that I want to have them to share. Poems about the joys of childhood, and how childhood pain is long-lasting; poems about taking care of parents and old dogs, poems of recognition.

Rating:  Five Slices of Pie. Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Pie

 

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.