Monday, February 19, 2018

Weather by Kelly Cherry


Poetry. From the beginning of her career, Cherry has written both formal verse and free verse. According to the citation preceding her receipt of the James G. Hanes Poetry Prize by the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 1989, "Her poetry is marked by a firm intellectual passion, a reverent desire to possess the genuine thought of our century, historical, philosophical, and scientific, and a species of powerful ironic wit which is allied to rare good humor." Reviewing Relativity, Patricia Goedicke noted in Three Rivers Poetry Journal that "her familiarity with the demands and pressures of traditional patterns has an expansion and deepening of her poetic resources, a carefully textured over- and underlay of image, meaning and diction." Mark Harris felt that Cherry's "ability to sustain a narrative by clustering and repeating images [lends] itself to longer forms, and 'A Bird's Eye View of Einstein, ' the longest poem in [Relativity], is an example of Cherry at her poetic best. Reviewing Cherry's collection, Death and Transfiguration, Patricia Gabilondo wrote in The Anglican Theological Review that "the abstract prose poem 'Requiem' that closes this book...translates personal loss into the historical and universal, providing an occasion for philosophical meditation on the mystery of suffering and the need for transcendence in a post-Holocaust world that seems to offer none. Moving through the terrors of nihilism and doubt, Cherry, in a poem that deftly alternates between the philosophically abstract and the image's graphic force, gives us an intellectually honest and deeply moving vision of our relation to each other's suffering and of God's relation to humanity's 'memory of pain'." 

"What sets her biography apart from prose ones? Well, she's a brilliant poet: she knows how to use her craft to say something in a more richly condensed way than prose can do." --Peggy Rosenthal 

"As a poetic biography, Kelly Cherry's Quartet For J. Robert Oppenheimer is a stunning tribute to one of America's most significant scientists. As Cherry traces the life of Oppenheimer, she compels us to consider not only our condition as human beings but our responsibility to each other and our world. Cherry's work is a remarkable achievement." --Sonja James

My Thoughts

Weather is a short book of poems.  All are weather or season related.  I don't typically read a lot of poetry.  It's not that I don't appreciate poetry, I do!  It's just that poetry isn't my first choice genre.

As with most books of poems, there are some that I like and some that I don't really like.  None of them really stood out to me as especially great.  Likewise, there weren't any that I hated either.

If you are someone who loves poetry, this may just be the book for you.  If poetry isn't really your thing, I'd pick up a different book if I were you.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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