Reviews: 4 Books of Poetry

I have been trying to incorporate more poetry into my life, so as to let it infiltrate my writing.  (Did you know I focused on poetry– and not fiction– in college?)  Here’s what I’ve been reading:

poetry1A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

A lovely collection of very Oliver-esque poems, focusing often on nature and setting.  Easy to access; beautiful, spare language.  Smacks of loneliness in a achingly pleasant way.  My favorite collection of hers still remains Thirst.

poetry2Tickets for a Prayer Wheel by Annie Dillard

So fascinating to dive into this book right after the clear, accessible poetry of Mary Oliver.  Dillard’s poems are deep, complicated, long, confusing, unavailable– and lovely.  I often feel this way when I’m reading her prose too: as if it is a fire; that is, I’m not certain of what is going on, but I want to move in closer anyway.  The breadth of her vocabulary is astonishing, and these poems stretched my mind in the best way possible.

poetry3Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman

There is an urgency to these poems, and no wonder: Wiman has a rare, incurable form of cancer.  With a toe over the cusp of eternity, Wiman dives into deep and fascinating concepts.  He talks about spirituality without ever declining into sentimentality.  Incredible collection.

dobbyIt Becomes You by Dobby Gibson

I was blown away by Gibson’s thought-provoking poetry.  He has a very contemporary, Billy Collins-esque feel to his work, though perhaps grittier.  I felt like every poem stirred questions in my heart.  Loved this collection so much that I immediately purchased his other two– Polar and Skirmish.

P.S. It appears that I am prejudiced against books that do not have gray covers, but it’s not true.  I have room in my heart (and collection) for covers of all colors.  Except maybe hot pink.

4 thoughts on “Reviews: 4 Books of Poetry

  1. Pingback: Poetry 2015 Review: Polar by Dobby Gibson | Jackie Lea Sommers

  2. Pingback: 2016 Poetry Campaign: It Becomes You by Dobby Gibson | Jackie Lea Sommers

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