Monday, December 27, 2010

Favourite Books of 2010- Poetry

I love poetry but I'm really picky about it. I have a fondness for vivid symbolism and bright metaphors, sharp language and confessional style-writing. In 2010 I read fifteen collections and of those four could be considered favourites- of which I only originally reviewed on, so I am sharing a small synopsis now. They are listed in no particular order, and they are all small collections worthwhile even if you consider yourself not a fan of poetry.

1. Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy 
Love Poems was my first introduction to Carol Ann Duffy, and may have been a bit biased due to the fact that it's actually a selection from various other collections. This year I also read Standing Nude Female by Duffy, as well as a collection she edited, Stopping for Death. As evident from the title, Love Poems is a collection is full of poems about love. However Duffy doesn't rely on the obvious route and so instead of simply roses and candles her words are sharp with raw edges of emotion and beauty.

2. Diving Into The Wreck by Adrienne Rich
Following Diving Into The Wreck I read three other collections by Adrienne Rich including The Dream of a Common Language, but none of them measured up to my initial love, a fact which is especially impressive when you consider that Diving Into The Wreck (along with Satan Say and Ariel) was actually read for an English class I took and had to suffer through extensive analysis. In the collection Rich has an incredible ability to play with the idea of gender as well as language- challenging the reader's preconceptions about both. In Diving Into The Wreck Rich manages to combine the personal and the political in a way unlike any other poet I have read, and she does so with incredible power.

3. Satan Says by Sharon Olds
I don't have too much to say about Sharon Olds' incredible debut collection Satan Says that didn't make it into my initial review, except to note that although the shock associated with the graphic nature of her poetry- addressing topics like incest and abuse- as well as a significant amount of profanity, certainly lessens over time. What doesn't lessen is the mark that Satan Says carves into your mind, Olds' incredible ability to capture darkness and leave behind raw and unforgettable poems.

4. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
Along with Sylvia Plath's Collected Poems, Ariel was basically my poetry Bible in highschool and for that reason it is very difficult to review from any sort of critical perspective. What I did realize upon rereading Ariel this year though, is that the beauty and power of Plath's poetry is not restricted to bleeding heart teenagers. Reading the collection again as well as discussing it for my American Poetry class made me recognize that the power of Ariel is that there is something new to discover every time you read the book, and in Plath's metaphors and confessions each reader is able to find their own message.

Did you read any incredible poetry collections in 2010? I am definitely interested in new suggestions as I am fairly picky when it comes to poets and could always use an introduction to new ones.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Your comments make my day!