I had been dubiously eyeing number 15 from the time I started the reading challenge.The little dilemma is, I really don’t care much for poetry.
I know, gasp! I’m a horrible English major. But to be honest there are so many other forms of writing I would much rather spend time consuming. So when it came to choosing a book of poems, all I could think was that I didn’t know where to start. Until one day I discovered Goodreads has a reader’s choice award. And that these awards are given in categories, which made me curious to see what other people would recommend as good poetry.
I initially thought I’d read Lullabies, or another book by this same writer, but promptly discovered my library doesn’t carry it. Which caused me to turn to the runner up, Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann
Again, I started the book dubiously, thankfully only it seemed small and had short poems and plenty of pictures. But I soon found I liked it more than I would have initially thought. I suppose a large amount of that had to do with its content.
As someone who has devoured Grimm’s fairy tales and feminist literature, this was the perfect fusion of my interests. Heppermann’s poetry is a fusion of these old stories with modern ideas about beauty and relationships and women. It focuses largely on the problems of beauty standards such as eating disorders and an obsession with perfection. On a whole I felt there was a lot of value in these poems, even if they didn’t strike me as perfectly crafted (but what would I know as someone who doesn’t read poetry for fun?).
Heppermann also pointed out that while Grimm and Perrault and other males have been famed for the legacy of fairy tales, it was often women who first told them, and she believes that shapes these stories and their overall messages. I’d never thought of that before, but it makes sense. Certainly there might have been men who told these tales, but I do usually picture a mother sitting with her children telling them old folklore passed down by her mother. It was a beautiful thought to think of modernizing some of these, blending old women’s messages into new ones. So I’m very glad this challenge made me pick up a book I wouldn’t normally have. I think that’s one of the great things about this challenge is being forced outside my comfort zone and actually finding new materials I can enjoy.
Do you enjoy poetry? Any good recommendations?