Sunday, June 13, 2010


Oh my, I don't know how to review poetry! I read quite a bit of poems, I have my favorite poets whose work I read again and again (Sylvia Plath is my absolutely favorite poet), I have a little brown and gold book where I collect poems I like and which I illustrate with photos I have taken myself. I am no stranger to poetry, but I have no idea how to review it! Well, as tennis legend Martina Navratilova wrote in her excellent book Shape Your Self: An inspirational Guide to Achieving Your Personal Best "if you are afraid of something, you won't achieve anything", so here goes:

Carol Ann Duffy is a highly merited Scottish poet and playwright. In 2009 she became the first female Poet Laureate in Britain. I own a copy of her prize-winning 2005 collection Rapture, which I have read before, but reread now for the GLBT Challenge. Duffy is herself a member of the GLBT community and some of her poems describe love between women. Rapture is a love story from falling in love to the grief at the end of a relationship. It is an excellent collection and some of her setences are very, very beautiful. My favorite poem in the collection is a poem called Finding the Words. And my favorite line in the collection is from a poem called You, where she writes, that falling in love is glamorous hell. I tought that was brilliantly put! ;)

You can read You here and listen to Finding the Words here.

Jeanette Winterson's interesting interview with Carol Ann Duffy can be found here.


Nymeth said...

I have a hard time reviewing poetry too. Not sure why, as at the end of the day I don't believe it HAS to be different from reviewing other books! Anyway, the only thing I've read by Carol Ann Duffy was a picture book called The Princess Blankets - which was lyrical and wonderful and made me want to get my hands on one of her poetry collections. Maybe Rapture will be my first :)

Eva said...

I don't know how to review poetry either! But I'm not a huge poetry reader, so I always blamed it on that. ;)

Tiina said...

Nymeth, I agree, why should reviewing poetry be any different than reviewing novels! I guess, I just find it more difficult to talk about poetry. By the way, you can find quite a few of Duffy's poems on the net, so you might want to sample her poetry that way to see, if you like it!

Eva, you should try Sylvia Plath's poems some time. Some of them are not necessarily very easy, but they are so wonderful! :)


JoAnn said...

I just reviewed my first poetry book earlier this month! It's definitely not an easy task, but you've done a good job here. Thanks for including the links.

Amanda said...

I have no idea how to review poetry either!!

Tiina said...

Amanda, I'm glad I'm not the only one!:)


lesbrary said...

Ooh, thanks for the review, I'll add this to my very long TBR list.