Poetry 2015 Review: Polar by Dobby Gibson

I’m reading one book of poetry each month this year!

For January, I read Polar by Dobby Gibson. For February, I’ll be reading Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder. You should read it too. For a list of all poetry books I’m reading this year, click here.

polarDobby Gibson is a local poet. I’ve seen him around Minneapolis, tweeted with him a little. He used to be my friend Alison’s boss! I’ve read two of Dobby’s other books (reviews here and here), and I loved them both.

I think Polar is his first book, and I found it less accessible than his later two. That said, I still very much enjoyed it. To me, this collection felt like a blender of Billy Collins and Annie Dillard, whose poetry is nothing like the other. Dobby was a comfortable middle ground between the deeply accessible and the brilliantly obscure.

“Two hands for undressing, / one mouth for lies, / a moment for every question / we save only for ourselves.” Love this.

Or how about this? “It’s luncheon-meat cold, and even winter rain / isn’t anything new, but it hurls itself / at us like a smashed chandelier.” Yes.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me was his vocabulary, which is clearly massive. For Gibson, it’s like an arsenal that has every weapon available, and he need only choose the best one for the situation.

He does. Over and over again.

Did you read Polar this month too? What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment. If you blogged about it, include a link!

I hope you’ll track down a copy of Stupid Hope for next month!


Poetry 2015 Campaign: Read Along with Me?

As you may have seen, one of my goals this year is to read more poetry– in fact, to read at least one book of poetry each month. I’ve thought this through and have a solid plan in place, including a curated list of books that I believe to be widely varied.

It occurred to me that maybe some of my blog readers might also have a similar goal– or might if they only knew where to start! Just in case anyone wants to join me this year, here’s what’s on my plate each month. I would love it if you tracked down the book and read it with me so that we could discuss it on my blog at the end of each month!

It’s up to you, friends! I’m not going to do a formal link-up, though if you read the book(s) and do a review, you’re absolutely more than welcome to include a link to it in my comments.

One disclaimer: I’ve read only a few poems from Polar and Once in the West, plus all of The Singer Trilogy. Everything else? We’ll be shocked, surprised, delighted, scandalized, overwhelmed, etc. together!


poetry 2015 prep