This charming collection of poems about the Indiana Dunes was written by Gary resident Charles P. Isley. Individual poems highlight particular featureThis charming collection of poems about the Indiana Dunes was written by Gary resident Charles P. Isley. Individual poems highlight particular features of the dunes; there is a poem about seagulls, for example, and one about kinglets, and several other about specific plants, animals, and times of day. The book is also laid out in a rough chronological format, taking the readers through a year of Dunes experiences. The first few poems introduce the landscape, and then these are followed by poems describing the dunes in springtime. The summer poems are grouped next, followed by fall, and finally ending with winter. Local legend Diana of the Dunes also makes an appearance or two. The poetry itself is not as high-quality as, say, Tennyson, and a few of the poems work a little too hard for the rhyme, but other poems flow more smoothly. Isley incorporates a few different styles, including blank verse, so the poems always feel fresh. Throughout this small volume, the lush descriptions of the natural landscape are sure to delight readers. All in all, a lovely book....more
It feels almost like sacrilege to give the great Emily Dickinson anything less than five stars. She is definitely a 5-star poet, but unfortunately, thIt feels almost like sacrilege to give the great Emily Dickinson anything less than five stars. She is definitely a 5-star poet, but unfortunately, this particular collection doesn't do her justice. I want to know how the poems were selected, first of all. It seems like most of these were fairly obscure as Dickinson poems go; that is, they are not the really really popular ones, not the ones typically featured in "Best of" collections. Why were they picked? Why these? Why only these?
Secondly, while the poems were read very nicely by four different actresses, there was not a lot of time in between poems. The CD went from one to the next rather quickly, and given how short some of these poems are to begin with, it became difficult to absorb them. I wound up pausing a lot in between, or backing up the disc to re-hear certain portions. Possibly this is simply a side effect of the audio format. I'll probably stick to printed poetry from here on in. I also had a hard time understanding all the words, although adjusting the settings on the CD player helped some. With four different readers alternating, each with distinctly different timbres, ranges, and styles, things became difficult. There was no ideal setting on the player to accommodate them all. Finally, I know I'm getting picky now, but I would have liked to know which reader was reading which poem.
The good things: 1) the poems, of course; 2) the readers; 3) the background music, which was wonderful, and which lent a touch of elegance and angst....more
This books is amazing. It's about fairy tales (kinda), but mostly it's about the modern teenage girl and the everyday pitfalls of everyday life. It'sThis books is amazing. It's about fairy tales (kinda), but mostly it's about the modern teenage girl and the everyday pitfalls of everyday life. It's dark and morbid and edgy, but most of all it's very well-written. Twisting the too-happy, too-cute fairy tale ideas to line them up with the darker side of human nature--this collection of poems is jarring and disturbing, and it addresses everything from acne to anorexia, from high school to guy trouble, starring heroines from all walks of life.
Hobbit poems. It's Middle Earth like you've never seen it before. And once you've read it, you'll know why. Yikes.
I enjoyed this book very much. TolkiHobbit poems. It's Middle Earth like you've never seen it before. And once you've read it, you'll know why. Yikes.
I enjoyed this book very much. Tolkien is probably better at prose than poems, but in this small book, he's expanded a great deal on Middle Earth mythology. He has poems by Bilbo and by Sam. He has goofy Hobbit folk poems. He's got Hobbits being silly and serious, sometimes trying to imitate Men and Elves with varying degrees of success. It's got Elvish gibberish, words that Hobbits have made up to sound Elvish but which don't mean anything. If this sounds funny, it is. I know that real languages and their histories inspired Tolkien to invent his own languages, and I also know that his own languages were the inspiration for Middle Earth. Reading these poems, I kind of felt like I was getting closer to some of the joy of invention; I could really understand why so many people have loved Middle Earth. Tolkien even makes some fun of his own poetry skills. Most of his poems keep a rigid rhyme scheme, but Tolkien also complains about all the rhyming, saying, "in their simplicity Hobbits evidently regarded such things as virtues." He also describes an annoying-on-purpose kind of poem by saying that it "may be recited until the hearers revolt." It really is cute.
However, this book is not perfect. It has a very uneven tone, and I'm not sure that I like either extreme.
This is a children's book, yet parts of it don't seem all that children-y to me. For one thing, it assumes that the reader has read The Lord of the Rings, and for another, it gets pretty dark (really, really creepy-dark) in some places. One of the poems, for example, tells of Frodo: "Like a dark mole groping I went, to the ground falling . . . beetles were tapping in the rotten trees, spiders were weaving . . . I saw my hair hanging grey . . . I have lost myself". This poem touches on old age and insanity and solitude; while I'm certainly not denying that children's literature can be dark, this just doesn't seem to be trying to appeal to children. Frodo isn't even described in the book--you'd have to read The Lord of the Rings for that.
On the other hand, this book has some lighthearted moments, to put it mildly, and those are certainly geared for children. If I could just quote one stanza:
"He battled with the Dumbledors, the Hummerhorns, and Honeybees, and won the Golden Honeycomb; and running home on sunny seas in ship of leaves and gossamer with blossom for a canopy, he sat and sang, and furbished up and burnished up his panoply"
This book offers Scripture quotes on love, and although it is a very short read, it nevertheless serves as a good reminder of what is perhaps the mostThis book offers Scripture quotes on love, and although it is a very short read, it nevertheless serves as a good reminder of what is perhaps the most central tenant of Christian faith. In his foreward, Leestma writes, "God loves us. We love Him--We love others. Putting all this together [. . .] makes life worth living."
I like the verses that he selected, which show what love is, what God's love means for us, and how our love for one another can enrich and comfort. I was surprised that he used the Living Translation. That is, while I understand why he would have avoided the older style of the 1611 KJV, I am surprised that he didn't pick the American Standard or something similar. Maybe the Living Translation was popular in 1971, but I seldom see it now.
I enjoyed this book, and while it certainly didn't delve deeply into theological subtleties, it is still a good reminder and a calming influence. Too bad that it's so short; it's really nicely done....more
Dark, unsettling, profound, ironic, and certainly fun to read -- I really liked these poems, even though they are somewhat . . . troubling. Not the plDark, unsettling, profound, ironic, and certainly fun to read -- I really liked these poems, even though they are somewhat . . . troubling. Not the place to go if you're looking for humor! I suppose that by now, the ideas in these poems may not seem so original, but I still found them chilling. ...more