The Granite Pail
The Selected Poems of Lorine Niedecker, edited by Cid Corman, (c) 1987, 1996, published by Gnomon Press
Other than students doing it for an assignment, I’m not sure how many people read poetry these days. I do and I enjoy it, I always have, even when I had to memorize “Casey at the Bat” in grade school.
I like starting the day with a book of poetry and a cup of coffee, inside if it’s inclement, sitting on the patio in nice weather, surrounded by the garden, fountain gurgling nearby. I read a few poems, think about them, enjoy them. Also, I keep a book of poetry on the nightstand and often end my day by reading a few poems. I find it’s a good way to transition from busy wakefulness to sleep. I have favorite poets, but am always on the lookout for new (to me) ones.
This intriguing collection of poems has depth, subtlety and grace – more than you might expect from a 20th century American poet who lived her entire life in the midwest. Niedecker is an astute observer of her surroundings, often remembering the ponds and rivers of her youth and early adulthood. These short poems are not small in depth, only in word count, often containing the grace and complexity of haiku with image juxtapositions conveying multiple meanings.
Wonderful, easy to read works that will linger long in memory.