Sunday, July 12, 2020

Selected Poems Gwendolyn Brooks

I’m unsure of how to write about poetry, but over the past couple weeks I’ve been in the right mood and have been reading this and Paradise Lost (about which I will probably have more to say), mostly out loud to myself. Reading the poems aloud was a good move, because it allowed me to connect with the poems despite having less familiarity with them. I dip into Auden, Yeats, Robinson Jeffers and Anne Porter often, but I hadn’t read a whole collection of poetry in a while. I picked up a copy of this years ago for a class I took, or at least shortly after I had taken it, and remembered the excellent poem We Real Cool (at least partially because it was also in a collection that came with recordings of poets reading their work), but not much else.

I will say these are powerful. I will be dipping into this along with my regulars now, I think. To my mind, she was particularly good at sonnets; the collection contains several great sequences. Three of the non-sonnets that really stood out to me were Negro Hero, Lovers of the Poor and In Emmanuel’s Nightmare: Another Coming of Christ. But the poem that absolutely killed me and was my favorite in the book was A Sunset of the City.

This is a vital collection.

Highly Recommended.

Owned But Previously Unread 2020 48/75

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