This week, I read "The Dead and the Living" by Sharon Olds. The book is divided into two sections. The first section, Poems for the Dead, was filled with poems that I didn't understand at all. The second half, Poems for the Living, was clearer to me but many of the poems made me uncomfortable. Ms. Olds used disturbing imagery throughout almost the entire book. The only pieces I could relate to were the ones about her kids. Some would say that if she disturbed me she did her job as an artist, but I don't think I'll be seeking out Ms. Olds' other works.
On my bedside for reading in the coming weeks:
--"Coming to Rest", a collection by NC's poet laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer;
--"The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes";
--"Immersed in Verse: An Imformative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life" by Allan Wolf. This one is a young adult guide to poetry, but I think it might prove useful. As I have gotten older, my mind has reverted back to its 16-year-old self. It is easier for me to learn from books aimed at kids and teenagers.