Thursday, May 10, 2012

Poetry Friday: The Color of Lost Rooms



A couple of weeks ago, I won a copy of Irene Latham's book The Color of Lost Rooms in a blog giveaway. I was amazed at how quickly it got here; I received it last Friday. I've read it through, most of the poems more than once, but I know I'll be reading it many more times.

Yes, this is our very own Irene Latham, who's hosting Poetry Friday today and who initiated our Progressive Poem last month. She's a wonderful writer, of course; we all know that already. And these are beautiful poems, full of visual images. Several are ekphrastic, and although I haven't looked for all of the paintings they are based on, I've found all the ones I've searched for online. I like seeing what the basis of the work was, whether the poem sticks pretty closely to what's there on the canvas, like "Blue Still Life," or takes the painter's work in a completely unexpected direction, like "Alligator Pears in a Basket."

Other poems are based on historical figures, like Audubon's mother and Abe Lincoln and Audrey Hepburn, or characters from stories, like Hester Prynne (whom I'll never see in the same way again) and Guinevere. And still others seem more personal, like "Love Poem with Christmas Lights" or "Simplicity 8953," in which a mom sews her daughter a princess dress:

...I pack away

the scissors but keep thread in my needle
should white steeds dissolve into skittering mice,

the royal coach to a pumpkin, the prince caught
dancing with someone else.

"Living Room" is my current favorite in this collection, but every poem has some special touch, something that will bring me back to reread. You have to read these; you can get the book in paperback or in e-book format.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

13 comments:

jama said...

I share your enthusiasm for this lovely book. The ekphrastic poems are wonderful, aren't they? I had fun looking up the paintings that inspired them, too. :)

Katya said...

ekphrastic
What a marvelous word. I didn't know there was a word that mean a work of writing about a piece of art.
Do you know if there is a word that means a work of writing about a piece of music?

Linda at teacherdance said...

Hi Ruth, These sound both wonderful and interesting. I'm so glad you brought our attention to Irene's anthology.

Tara said...

On my list...thank you, Ruth!

Tabatha said...

Sounds wonderful, Ruth! What a great prize :-)

laurasalas said...

Oh, this sounds wonderful. I'm putting it on my ebook wish list! Thanks, Ruth!

I'm Jet . . . said...

Gonna read it!

Jet

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

This sounds like a very special book. How I wish I could find this in our libraries too. Thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

I was looking at Irene's books when I when over to put up my post yesterday morning, and thinking, "Hmmm, I'd like to own one of her books." Your post has totally convinced me. Gotta have it! Thank you!

Mary Lee said...

Thank you for bumping me past "want to read that" and directly to "purchase with one click" for my kindle!

Irene Latham said...

Hi Ruth - thank you so much for your post! My complaint about the work "ekphrastic" is that it isn't pretty enough for what it is. Does that make sense? It should be a flowy word with no hard consonants. I want a new word. :) I'm happy the book reached you and that you enjoyed it. Thank you for being a bright, giving spirit on ye world wide web.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thanks, Ruth, for featuring our lovely Irene and her wonderful book. It's a collection to dip into again and again. (I'm chuckling at Irene's complaint about "ekphrastic" - I think it's an oh-so-fun word, but she's right that it doesn't quite fit. Unless, maybe, you're writing about a Jackson Pollock?) ;0)

Doraine Bennett said...

Ruth, this is a marvelous book. I've enjoyed it, as well as our sweet Irene. I am with Irene on the word. Ekphrastic sounds so awkward. Like an eleven year old boy in a body growing too fast.