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Ani DiFranco: Verses

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  408 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
“She’s got the gift of lyrical precision—nothing cuts to the core quite like the resolution of DiFranco rhyme.”—Billboard

With eight Grammy nominations, a gold record, and sales of over 4.5 million, Ani DiFranco is one of America’s most fiercely independent and beloved musicians, as well as an outspoken voice of conscience. For the first time, she releases a book of poetry
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Seven Stories Press
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Jul 21, 2008 Andrea rated it it was amazing
I bought this book more as a novelty, as an Ani fan and to support her and get her to sign it. But I couldn't put it down. Even though most, if not all, of the poems are her songs, they are a joy to read, and a great way to turn people on to what she has to say, even if they aren't into her music. Here's one I memorized right away and shared with everyone who would listen.


when they said he could walk on water
what it sounds like to me

is he could float like a butterfly
and sting like a bee

Nov 17, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it
Reveiwers copy from 7 Stories Press.

One lazy day in 1996, I was meandering up and down the aisles of the local Gallery of Sound music store, having wandered in wanting a new CD, but not having anything particular in mind.

At times like these, I would pull a cd from the rack, check out the recording label, the cover art, and read the song titles. This was how I came across some of my favorite indie/unknowns at the time. Groups like Brad, Sunny Day Real Estate, Lemonheads, Catherine Wheel...

That l
Oct 23, 2015 Jaleenajo rated it liked it
I actually received this book as a gift a few years ago, but it was lost on my bookshelf until recently, when I found it and wanted to incorporate it into one of the reading challenges I'm doing this year that requires a book of poetry. I've never really listened to Ani DiFranco's music, so I read these purely as poems. I really enjoyed some of them, and admire DiFranco's powerful phrasing and ability to quickly create intimacy with a reader. The poems were brief, impactful, and at times very ...more
This came into my hands at a somewhat complex time, compounded by a broken rib, which made me sit still and read (ah bliss!). So, it was the perfect moment to be introduced to this poet. Some of the poems really resonated, some were interesting observations of another's experience. I loved the art. Passed on to a friend deeply involved in our local Poetry Society.
Feb 15, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
whether ani is writing poetry about relationships, feminism, social conscience, or spirit, her voice is the most powerful of my generation, unique and so fucking important. she was the first artist that made me realize some of the most amazing poetry of my generation was set to music. While most of my favorite ani lyrics are not in this book, it was still an experience and i devoured it...

And everything seems to have gone terribly wrong that can
But one breath at a time is an acceptable plan, she
Lara Labric
Dec 09, 2016 Lara Labric rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I just love Ani. Beautiful lyrics. Great artwork.
May 18, 2008 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, beauty
What I love about libraries is, I can check out an entire stack of literature - poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc. - take them home and delve into them, then return them all and go out and buy the ones that really, truly spoke to ME. I don't have to purchase innumerable stacks of books that LOOK interesting but I have no way of knowing if I'll actually like them. Also, and perhaps even most wonderfully of all, I find myself delving into books I never would have picked up to purchase, only to ...more
Jul 01, 2008 Marty rated it really liked it
I thought I'd give this a try as I know and like some of Ani DiFranco's music, but thought it might be just another case of rock star dabbling in a bit of poetry. In fact she is a real and very talented poet with an original, confident and contemporary voice. This book turned out to be a great find and is a very enjoyable collection. Her style is often unconventional and abstract, often free verse, or with irregular/internal rhyme and variable syllabic count, but always with a rhythym that ...more
May 16, 2011 Selenem rated it it was amazing
I'm probably not the most "objective" reviewer, as I've been a huge Ani fan since 1995, and Ani fans are probably the most rabid, die-hard fans you can find.

That said, the reason for my all-consuming awe, other than her unparalleled guitar chops, is her brilliant, poetic lyrics, gathered here in a beautiful hardbound edition.

I've been waiting for this for a long time. The verses I'm familiar with from the songs are bright and sweet, a sensory experience like eating ripe citrus fruit. Add some
Oct 30, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing
I've had this book since it came out years ago, but somehow (WHY?) just got to it two nights ago, on a whim. I stayed up late and read "Verses" cover to cover. Ani's words have been a friend to me since I first discovered them. No review needed here, but if I had to choose some review-like words, I would say: indignant, exquisite, precise, scathing, intelligent, inspiring, comforting, challenging, illuminated.
And! She paints! I will follow this woman anywhere.
Feb 19, 2015 Molly added it
Shelves: poems
I can't write this because Ani Difranco means too much to me from my own personal history, but I can say this: mainly song lyrics, and I much prefer to hear her perform them as oppose to read them on the page. As spoken word or sung, these are fantastic. I think I would have loved this when I was first introduced to Ani, you know, when I was a sweet little 17-year-old in need of these poems in this way.
Sep 27, 2007 Christy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ani fans
Most of the text is printed Ani lyrics, so there is little new material for the long-time Ani Difranco listener. With all the artwork inside, this book is more of an art object, a different way of looking at Ani's writing. The book is very well made, and the pages are nice paper; it's pleasing to touch and hold. A must for completists!
Aug 01, 2012 luscious rated it it was amazing
It's no wonder most of the poems and musings in this little gem turned out to be fantastic songs. The little voice inside your head will start to 'sing' as you read the words she's jotted down by their sheer musicality.
Ani's a class act. Love this poetry collection.
Treasure it.
And then love it some more.
Jes Black
Feb 29, 2016 Jes Black rated it it was amazing
Re-read again, I love this book so much! One of my favorite people, such well articulated insight on our world and her soul (no, less romantic words do not exist for me to describe this lol). Read it and enjoy! :) then google/you-tube her poem about 911 you have to hear her read it, it's beautiful, not too dramatic and not sentimental: perfect.
Mar 17, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young poetry lovers
I like Ani Difranco's poetry better than her music (and I like her music). Perhaps she missed her true calling.

This anthology is edgy, clever, and free verse. The poems are short and easily understandable, without being trite. I loved it. It is aimed at a younger audience (early twenties), and would be a perfect recommendation for the anthology project.
May 17, 2013 Rainey rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 100-in-2013
In college, I probably read everything Ani DiFranco had written up to that point. Reading this book of verse unearthed a buried part of myself- the part destined to uncover lost truths and record histories.

"for every lie I unlearn
I learn something new
I sing sometimes for the war that I fight
'cause every tool is a weapon -
if you hold it right.”
Oct 19, 2016 Mj rated it did not like it
This book exemplifies why some poems are better songs than poems. The flow and beauty of the work just did not translate on the page that well. I was sadly disappointed with the book, and recommend just listening to DiFranco's music instead if you're a fan.
Jun 02, 2014 David rated it really liked it
Much if not all of the offerings here will be familiar to those who have followed DiFranco's music over the years. Still, it was nice to get her poems without the idiosyncratic rhythms that (in my opinion) can obscure rather than open up her work as she performs it.
Aug 15, 2011 Danielle rated it really liked it
It's great to see the songs before they had the guitar going along with them. A lot of what is in this book is stuff you will know if you're a fan of Ani's music. There's not much new material here.
Jul 09, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it
Most of these poems became songs, which Ani then recorded, which I already had before I bought this book.

If you were looking for new Ani material, this isn't the book for you. However, if you want the poem forms of her songs, this is where to find it.
Tim Armentrout
Sep 16, 2008 Tim Armentrout rated it liked it
i love ani, but this book was a tad disappointing as it is primarily composed of her song lyrics and hardly anything new. the only fresh insight into her work comes in the form of the artwork throughout. i was just hoping for something more.
Jan 07, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Some of the poems carried her voice so loudly that I could only hear them like a song, but others felt like poetry (which is what I was looking for when I picked up the book). I also really enjoyed the interview at the end of the book. Favorites include Grey, Literal, and Parameters.

life knocked me off my platforms
so i pulled out my first pair of boots
bought on the street at astor place
before new york was run by suits

and i suited up for the long walk
back to myself
closer to the ground now
with sorrow
and stealth
Mar 18, 2008 Autumn rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Ani is an amazing poet, with sucn interesting and important things to say. I enjoyed this book a lot espeically the new stuff. It's a beautiful book. I would have liked to see more of the new material though.
Mar 24, 2010 Bernadette rated it really liked it
One of my favorite things about Ani's music is her lyrics! It was interesting to see her written interpretation of her words...although I found myself singing all the ones I know as songs. I would have liked to see more in the book that wasn't previously sung/produced.
May 31, 2008 Genevieve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
If you know me at all, you know I love Ani. Her poems, which most often become her lyrics, speak to me in a way I can't explain.
Stacy Mar
Aug 17, 2016 Stacy Mar rated it it was amazing
i love this book. many of the poems are also lyrics of poetry.

its also a great sample representative of her work.
Jun 16, 2008 Kiersten rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
The artwork alone captured me. This was a gift from my brother-what better then to get me a book of Ani poems. It is another great addition to my collection.
Mar 27, 2008 eliza rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous artwork and selection of lyrics and poems. More of a curation than a book, but lovely nonetheless. Great gift for coming-of-agers.
Apr 04, 2010 Ashleigh rated it really liked it

Her songs are still better than her poetry but, it's cool to see which poems are now songs and think about how they morphed.
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Ani DiFranco is a Grammy Award winning singer, guitarist, and songwriter. She is known as a prolific artist (having released nineteen albums) and is widely celebrated as a feminist icon.
More about Ani DiFranco...

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“Taken out of context, I must seem so strange” 127 likes
“and I try
to draw the line
but it ends up running down the middle of me
most of the time.”
More quotes…