Poetry 2015 Review: Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder

stupid hopeThough Jason Shinder is highly esteemed, this was the first of his work I’d ever read.

It was interesting. Very spare language. Very vulnerable.

There were four parts. In the first two parts, Shinder talks a lot about his mother’s illness. But in part three, readers learn that he also has an illness– and is dying from it. This is where the book took a turn for me. The first half I could do without, but the second half– when Shinder was facing his own mortality– had an urgency and honesty that made it special.

It was, in fact, so imbued with urgency, that I wondered if Shinder would die before part four. Then I realized that there wouldn’t be a part four without him.

It was tragic, and readers learn in the postscript that his dear friends put together the book after he died and at his request.

You should read this one, or at least the second half.

If you’re reading along with my Poetry 2015 Campaign, then make sure to track down a copy of Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair for March!

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