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When Kathleen Driskell pulled an old edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette from the used bookstore shelf and blew dust off the blue linen cover, she instantly found herself and her family within those pages—not as the Worldlys, Oldlineages, or the Gildings (archetypes Post created to demonstrate how to properly manage a grand house full of servants), but as the housemaids, coo ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published September 17th 2016 by Red Hen Press
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I read Kathleen Driskell's Blue Etiquette straight through, cover to cover (a great cover, btw), appreciating so much about the craft, but even more about the voice and the sheer attitude of the poems. American poetry almost never gets to hear the voice of the waitress, the voice of "downstairs," because of course, poetry tries not to have class divisions... But Driskell suddenly provides us with a new frame of reference with references to the blue book of Emily Post, and suddenly etiquette crea ...more
If you have grown up where cotillions are a thing, you can get a great laugh at the way Driskell portrays the world of etiquette. She calls out the way that those who value such rules of propriety like to hold themselves over others and just the general rules that are absurd in a world where there is more equality than strict social rules. My favorite section was the section that dealt with the people in the town. It reminded me so much of Edwin Arlington Robinson’s Tilbury Town. Each character ...more
Let me tell y'all. Kathleen Driskell reminds me of my aunt, good ol' country love and stories that flew off the page, and made me feel like I was sitting in the backyard sipping sweet tea with my family. I think with this collection, the way Driskell brings these ideas of class structure into the work and how this really sheds light on things we don't usually see or focus on wen reading poetry. Her characters are so well developed and bring light to the way that these high class structures seem ...more