This slender volume paints the story of Panic Annie. Interpreting a variety of poetic forms, Christine Brandel brings structure to the chaos of Annie's life, illustrating that it's difficult being both big and small.
Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in such journals as Callisto, Public Pool, Queen Mob’s Tea House, The Conium Review, and Gravel. She also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world’s wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin. She currently teaches at a community college and serves as a hospice volunteer.
Poetry demands clarity and precision. Poems are not merely written; they are composed. Christine Brandel is composer of poems. There was a time when poets, because they were poets, used poetic forms. Poetry was better then. Poets were like movie stars. A poem could be as popular as a hit song. If there were books in a home, a good percentage would be books of poetry. I’m not kidding. You can look it up. Then something happened, but we’ll not get into that here. Here is where I convince you to take a chance on a poet who writes deeply moving poems that sing, dance, paint pictures, and tell stories. They sing and dance because they utilize poetic forms. They paint pictures and tell deeply moving stories because Christine Brandel is an outstanding poet. A review that finds no fault is subject is suspicion. The title is too long: PANIC ANNIE would suffice. The spine lacks title and author’s name. Libraries and bookstores hate that, and this book belongs in libraries, bookstores, backpacks, and classrooms. The book’s title gives good indication of its content, but there is no panic in these poems. In style, and demeanor, they are composed.
From “Panic Annie, Seeking Answers”
Opening, closing a book of hair. Beneath her fingers, a fistful, a hand. Sinking, sleepless sick lives there.
In morning pink roses take Annie where Questions design to be gold and grand. Opening, closing a book of hair.
Received this through Goodreads First Reads. The brevity of poetry helps the reader flow through a lifetime via snapshots, and I love the tagline, "it's difficult being both big and small." The words dance beautifully; it makes you want to read each poem aloud. And although I appreciate the author used so many different types of poetry, the list of pieces and corresponding forms threw me off. I like to read poetry like a puzzle, without the answers to dumb it down for me. It makes me wonder who the intended audience for this book was. Otherwise, it was beautiful victim song.
What great poetry. This book was interesting the first time, and then even better the second time after I had a bit more context for the earlier poems.
I really like how the poems are so diverse, but they feel like they belong together.
I have to admit, I still don't feel like I understand every poem. Some of the loose pieces probably won't fit together until I have read it a few more times. But that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the book.
im finding it hard to put what I think I normally don't read poems so Im used to everything I read being explained. Saying that I enjoyed the poems they are so sad and thought provoking however Im still unsure if I got the meaning to most of them maybe if I read more then I will understand these better.
Bref double, etheree, glose, haibun, huitain, kyrielle, luc bat, pantoum, prose poem, rondel, rondelet, sijo, tanka chain, terza rima, vilanelle, virelai--Christine Brandel uses all these fixed forms here, and she uses them well.
This is one tough set of poems both literally and figuratively. I'm still trying to figure out the styles. Who knew that Haiku was just the beginning. Oh, Noh! Anyway, Panic Annie will resonate with me for some time to come. I may have nightmares.