Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Haunted House by Marisa Crawford

I've been looking forward to this book since I read some of Crawford's poetry in Action Yes (one of my favorite online magazines). Her book didn't disappoint. The poems were somewhat different than the types of poems that are being published by Crawford right now, because the poems in The Haunted House are all focused to the same subject: being a preteen/young teen. Because of the subject matter, it is hard not to compare The Haunted House with Karyna McGlynn's I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poems (which is one of my favorite books, period). They both write about their (and my) teen years, but the main difference is Crawford has mostly the lighter side and McGlynn writes about the pitch black side. Both books are great.

Crawford's poems are almost all prose poems, which I think suit her subject matter and writing style. I like the prose poems better than the few poems that she wrote with line breaks.

I like Crawford's titles, just reading them makes me feel nostalgic ("And I Will Always Love You" and "The Cute Beatle"), or made me laugh ("Riding in Cars with Monsters" and "Yum, Poison Apple").

She uses a lot of specific names when she writes, and I feel like these are real stories and real people. Every reader wants to feel like they are watching something real. She has a lot of poems about Emily Dickinson (she is her descendant and also went to school in Amhearst) and talks about her as if she is a friend at school or a cousin around the same age as she is in these poems.

My favorites in this book:

Me Without Makeup

Valentine's Day

Riding in Cars with Monsters

Under the Evergreens

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