Two recommendations for the new poetry reader | Quick Reviews

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Josephine: This book was my introduction to Josephine Baker - French dancer, singer, actress, and Civil Rights activist. From a very young age, Josephine was involved with the show business. She somehow managed to get a few opportunities to dance at some theaters but it was in Paris that she actually shone. It bothered her all her life, as it rightly should, that America was not ready for her, a talented black woman. It impressed her that France didn't care about her color and so she eventually gave up her US citizenship to be a French citizen. It amazed me that she adopted 12 kids from across the world but I wish there was more in the book (and the internet) about the kids because I was intensely curious about how they fared. I didn't care much for the fact that the book was written in poetry but it didn't hamper my enjoyment.

Josephine saw colored people
-beaten-
fleeing their homes
across the bridge over the Mississippi River
to Saint Louis.
To her neighborhood.



milk and honey: I read this book a long time ago and meant to reread it before reviewing. This book of poetry by Rupi Kaur is beautiful. This from someone who just said above that she isn't much into poetry. I loved it and bookmarked several poems. Divided into four sections, each part of the book focuses on a different theme, a different pain or experience. There are poems about hurt, violence, abuse, and loss, but there are also some that deal with surviving. I hadn't heard about Rupi Kaur until I picked this book to read. (You have to check her site to see some of her interesting works.) There was one poem in particular that resonated strongly with me (see below). But there are many more great ones too. They are all quick and short.

when my mother was pregnant
with her second child i was four
i pointed at her swollen belly confused at how
my mother had gotten so big in such little time
my father scooped me in his tree trunk arms and
said the closest thing to god on this earth
is a woman's body it's where life comes from
and to have a grown man tell me something
so powerful at such a young age
changed me to see the entire universe
rested at my mother's feet

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