Monday, June 6, 2011

The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing edited by Kevin Young

I have about 47 slips of paper marking all the poems I like in this collection. If this weren't a library book, I'd have marked it up well. Divided into six sections: Reckoning, Regret, Remembrance, Ritual, Recovery, Redemption, there's, well, something for everyone, depending on, uh, what you're looking for. Only this isn't a self-help book of course. In here I found poets I hadn't heard of before whose work I'll investigate and poets I studied in school whose poems I was glad to read again. So it's a comfort, if that's what you want, and it's an accessible volume of worthwhile poetry. How to pick one example?

The Morning Baking by Carolyn Forché

Grandma, come back, I forgot
How much lard for these rolls

Think you can put yourself in the ground
Like plain potatoes and grow in Ohio?
I am damn sick of getting fat like you

Think you can lie through your Slovak?
Tell filthy stories about the blood sausage?
Pish-pish nights at the virgin in Detroit?

I blame your raising me up for my Slav tongue
You beat me up out back, taught me to dance

I'll tell you I don't remember any kind of bread
Your wavy loaves of flesh
Stink through my sleep
The stars on your silk robes

But I'm glad I'll look when I'm old
Like a gypsy dusha hauling milk

1 comment:

Merisi said...

Thank you, I put it immediately on my wish list!

(Last Monday, I saw M&child again, this time in the 8th District.)