Kurt Moore's Reviews > The Naming of Strays

The Naming of Strays by Erin Elizabeth Smith
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Mar 21, 2012

it was amazing

I admit reading poetry books isn't something I do much of anymore. When I do I go to my faves like Joy Harjo's "In Mad Love and War," Sandra Cisneros' "Loose Woman" or Michael Bugeja's "Platonic Love." Now I think I have a new book to add to the list.

I just got "The Naming of Strays" today and read it in a half an hour. I could not put it down. There's not many books I can say that about.

A bit of disclosure. I have followed Smith's poetry on and off since she was a teen, so there's some bias. But the poems in this book swept me up in a way I hadn't experienced before. They have this sense of intimacy to them, a brutal honesty that at times makes me want to hug the subject of the poem and say it will be OK, and at other times to run like hell.

In her writing, Smith doesn't back away from the struggles of love. She embraces it, wears it as a badge of survival. It's not only the rhythm of her voice but it's the rhythm of life that sweeps me up.

"The Naming of Strays" is a must read. Don't let it be a stray to your bookshelf. This is what poetry's supposed to be. Honest, intimate and even painful at times. Enjoy.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 21, 2012 – Shelved
March 21, 2012 – Finished Reading

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