More Summer Book Mini-Reviews: Poetry

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words that Move Them by Anthony & Ben Holden.

First line: Late one afternoon in the mid-1990s, a close friend of long standing called to tell me of a sudden domestic crisis.

What is interesting about this book:  It's always fascinating to see what poems people (in this case, men) are moved by.

What is not interesting about this book: The majority of poems that men are moved by are by other men.

Thank you Terrance Hayes for choosing Gwendolyn Brooks. Thank you Billy Collins for choosing Victoria Redel. Thank you both John Ashberry and Andrew Solomon for choosing Elizabeth Bishop. Thank you Colin Firth (yes, celebs are in this book as well) for choosing Emily Zinnemann. Thank you Anish Kapoor for choosing Adrienne Rich and Marc Forester for choosing Mary Oliver and Douglas Kennedy for choosing Emily Dickinson.

There may be a few others I missed, but not many (or should I say men-ee).

While some of the men offered lovely insights, some of the poems and thoughts fell flat. I think this is a great idea for a book, but just not executed precisely or as well as I would have liked.

I prefer this book and highly recommend it:

First Loves: Poets Introduce the Essential Poems That Captivated and Inspired Them


Wild Thing in our Known World by Claudia Putnam
First line: Running the Highline:

This book is grounded in landscape, in earth, sea, and sky. Mother Nature is twofold--what is outside & a mother and son. A chapbook that seems to move effortlessly between both relationships--human and nature. Though as poets, we know nothing is ever effortless, it's craft.  We exist in the beauty of the images throughout this chapbook.


And Now This by Terry Persun.
First line: I'm standing in the corner,

The poems in this collection tell a beautiful & heartbreaking story from childhood to adulthood dealing with life, loss, struggle and coming to terms with our own lives.  The narrator is easy to connect with, the narrator who "lives among invisible winds."  These poems share stories and many of the images stayed with me long after the book was set down.

~ Kells
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