Looking for Me by Betsy R. Rosenthal & You Remind Me of You by Corrigan round out Poetry Month @ 03:56 pm
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Twilight Galaxy ~ Metric
To say farewell to National Poetry Month I read one collection of poems for children the other for young adults. The journey was half worth my time.
You Remind Me of You by Eireann Corrigan
You Remind Me of You is a poetry memoir of author Corrigan’s experience living with an eating disorder and being partnered with a boyfriend who is a heavy drug user and attempts suicide. Although the exercise of writing the book perhaps proved
cathartic for Corrigan, the reader gleans little from the disjointed prose and partially realized anecdotes.
When I first started reading it seemed as if the book might be using an interesting and seldom used technique to delve into a persistent teen issue. Unfortunately, unlike the work of Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Identical) which tackles difficult subject matter in a free flowing prose format. Her writing hits quick points, is passionate and powerful. This book however reads terse, forced and unpolished.
Part of the problem is that the poems jump through time one in present tense, the next several years earlier and then into the future again. This can be used successfully but in this piece feels clunky. The author does create some beautiful imagery; “In a year my entire planet will shrink to one locked hallway” and “Every time we came back to each other, his arms around me felt like the native country.” But the good moments were few and much of the text felt jostled and disjointed. I sadly give this title a thumbs down.
Looking for Me by Betsy R. Rosenthal
Looking for Me is a sweet and informative peek inside the life of a second generation Russian immigrant in Baltimore in the 1930’s. Written in verse, some which rhyme others that use free-form prose the poems are easily accessible and clearly deliver the reader to the time and place being written about. Edith who is described as being “just plain” is right in the middle of a family of 12 kids. They share beds and have hand me downs of hand me downs. The poems touch on education, Jewish tradition, family discipline, death and work during the years when she is eleven and twelve. Through the poems Edith discovers who she is inside and outside of her family identity and we learn in a touching Author’s Note that Edith is the author’s Mother. Well written, entertaining, easy to digest and this could serve to introduce students to Jewish heritage as well as different poetry formats. This is an excellent read for Ages 9-12. This is a new release so look for it bookstores now!