As I mentioned on Facebook my copy of THE POETRY OF US arrived and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s on my desk and from time to time I treat myself to reading another few poems. I’m up to “Science in North Dakota,” by Bill Holm. It’s tempting to sit down and devour these delicious efforts all at once but I don’t think that does justice to the poets who worked so hard to perfect their offerings. Better, I think, to read slowly, sometimes aloud, to savor the flavor of all these diverse voices.
One nice thing about reading 200+ poems is that I’m discovering many gifted poets I don’t know. Many of their poems leave me shaking my head in appreciation of the skill, sensitivity, and insight of the poet. It’s a wonderful reminder that there are many fine poets whose voices are not heard often enough and are well worth the search to read more of their writing. When I finish reading this book, I’m going to make a list of poets I want to know better and set out to find them.
The skill of the anthologist is evident in the selection of work represented to give a true taste of how we think and speak and sound across this great land. Bravo to J. Patrick Lewis for bringing together this important collection. As I said on my Facebook post, if there is anyone left who does not believe that children’s poetry deserves respect for its power to reach hearts and souls, then by all means buy them this book.