JG (The Introverted Reader)'s Reviews > Good Poems for Hard Times

Good Poems for Hard Times by Garrison Keillor
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's review
Jul 03, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 3_stars, non-fiction, poetry, z_read_in_2009, reviewed, gave_away
Read in August, 2009

I am not, nor have I ever been, exceptionally qualified to write a review of a collection of poetry. Back in the day, I could probably have muddled out something about rhyme and meter, but high school English is a long way behind me, and I've forgotten anything I ever knew.

But I do like poetry that's pretty straightforward and that says something to me. I have a collection of these that I've probably kept since middle school. Unfortunately, for the number of poems included in the collection, there weren't many that spoke to my personal experience. Maybe I read them too fast. I'm a fast reader and poetry is meant to be savored. I tried to take my time, but I think I came in at about a month. I tried to keep it to one or two a day, but I just got tired of lugging the thing back and forth to work and finished reading it.

Also, I'm not clear about what made these "Good Poems for Hard Times." I expected an uplifting collection, or maybe a "You are not alone" kind of collection, but really they seemed to be about anything and everything. Flipping it open randomly, I find a poem that reminds me of James Blunt's Song, "You're Beautiful," about instantaneous, hopeless, distant love; a poem about watching a man be unsuccessfully resuscitated; a silly little rhyme about a yak; and I remember reading some of those funny little Burma Shave ads. Why are those good for hard times? Some fit the theme, but, for me, anyway, most of them didn't.

Readers who know more about poetry or who have a broader understanding and expectation may enjoy these. This just wasn't the collection for me.
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