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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.