Here we are , over halfway through National Poetry Month. I look forward to posting poetry reviews here regularly in the future, once or twice a month. We’ve enjoyed a good run of once a week during the month of April, with one week to go!
Enjoy this playful, fun collection, quite accessible for younger readers.
CRAIG, Michael Earl. Thin Kimono. 105p. Wave. Aug. 2010. Tr $14. ISBN 978-1-933517-46-9. LC number unavailable.
Adult/High School–Craig’s third book of poetry contains many insightful and surprising selections. Rather than being introduced to Japan, readers encounter a trip to the acupuncturist, shoeing horses, and watching an owl at night. The poet makes all of the works interesting. Some are written in paragraphs but read as poetry. Some, such as “This I Believe,” contain amusing thoughts. “I believe in tacos and mortification./I believe that all people fall/into one of two categories: Doonesbury or Far Side./Well, or Andy Capp. Andy Capp type people./They’re everywhere.” Craig works as a farrier in Montana, so it is natural that a man who earns his living shoeing horses would write about the experience. “In the Road” shows that horses even enter his sleep. “I had a dream last night. I dreamt/I was trying to shoe a horse in the road./I’d get under him and swing my hammer/and he’d move his foot, just a little.” His matter-of-fact style may inspire some to try writing about their own experiences. The straightforward poems describe small events and tell part of little stories. In “The Neighbor,” the poet explains that he is writing for himself or for someone like him. Teens who enjoy poetry will want to share Craig’s short, lively poems.–Karlan Sick, formerly at New York Public Library