Tag Archives: poetry

book poems

A book of my poems? Why, yes, it is.


Red Dress Press publishes first author-designed book.

Linger, Love. by Liz Shine is a collection of poems written and edited over twenty years. Placed together in this single collection, they present a sort of essay regarding the human heart, its possibilities and its limits. The poems span childhood to adulthood, address many subjects including identity, relationships, parenting, and divorce.

You can buy the book here: http://amzn.to/1NuRKEi


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Review: An Atlas of the Difficult World

An Atlas of the Difficult World
An Atlas of the Difficult World by Adrienne Rich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An Atlas of the Difficult World delivers, as Rich’s collections always do. Reading her work must be ennobling; It feels as though it must. Even though so much here eluded me in the moment (i.e. I didn’t “understand”)–it is the lines that strike an immediate chord, then the reflection on the work as a whole that allow me to say I understood and was moved. To me, this collection seems to be a case for art, though it is difficult and there is so much suffering already. Art is better than memory for remembering. One line that cut right through: “because no one understood all picnics are eaten on the grave?”

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More poetry, please.

Children should read more poetry, and not just the rhyming, humorous kind in the style of Prelutsky or Silverstein, though I love those poems too. I guess what I’m saying is that children should read more for the experience of language and how it effects you without having to puzzle out a central idea, because I think it’s extremely difficult to do the work it takes to makes sense of difficult text if you haven’t already developed an appreciation for how words can pluck away at your senses in endless compositions.

The other day I gave my students the Robert Hass poem “TIme and Materials” to read and respond to. Their response in some cases was strong and surprising. “These aren’t even words!”, one student remarked about how as the poem moves on, letters start to disappear, a trick that if you’re open to the play of language strikes you as brilliant. But, if you’ve come to expect that words follow rules and our primary objective is to understand, the tricks of poets can be maddening.

I had a conversation recently where a friend remarked that she couldn’t believe how much homework there is in first grade these days. It’s true. And have you seen the nature of that homework? Is it any wonder that so often the struggle with our best students as English teachers is they are so concrete? Even when the write about poems or fiction, their default is to say “the writer explains”.

I’m probing the edges of other topics here, finding it difficult not to follow the tangents. I started with “children should read more poetry”, and I’m tempted to say what I really mean is something about the impact of over-testing or global economic terror or the information age, but no, what I really mean is just that. By the time they come to me in high school, poetry is far more strange to them than it should be.


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