Thursday, June 24, 2010

Black Life by Dorothea Lasky

I bought Black Life soon after it was published in April. I was looking forward to it since I am a fan of Awe.

I liked Black Life even better. It is even more cute and charming. All the poems in the new book are at the level of the best ones in the first book. These are more complex, and the subjects change more in this book.

I like how Lasky isn’t afraid to sound sincere. I saw one of the poems in the book in The New Yorker, and I was happily surprised. Her poems have a cuteness to them that you don’t see a lot it serious poetry. It is one of the main reasons I like the poems--they are really good at being themselves.

There is more than one poem in the book about being attracted to weirdos (A favorite subject of mine), and the poet also mentions a lot of specific names of people. I haven’t looked any of them up (I wrote this part of the review offline), but I am going to look them up when I can go back online.

Her poetry is unique. You can identify a Lasky poem without seeing the byline. They are vivacious and seem simple on the surface.

Her titles are just there. I don't feel like they do a lot to enhance the poems.

Her poems are all single stanza poems.

The book has huge print, which I like because tiny letters strain my eyes. I also think the large print suits the poems. It reminds me of Lasky’s reading style, which is loud and seems “large.”

My favorites in the book:


Me and the Otters

That One Was The Oddest One (more than half way down the page)



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