Subtle beauty, American “haiku”

The Granite Pail

The Selected Poems of Lorine Niedecker, edited by Cid Corman, (c) 1987, 1996, published by Gnomon Press Granite Pail cvr sml

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.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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6 Responses to Subtle beauty, American “haiku”

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    I’ve been known to read a little poetry. I will look for this book.

  2. Richard says:

    I enjoy these short poems, many give pause for thought, always a good thing. Niedecker isn’t well known. This is a good representative collection.

  3. You’re right about poetry in the 21st Century, Rick. Few people write it and fewer people read it.

  4. Richard says:

    Sadly true, George. I often feel poetry is good for the soul, but that’s a personal thing. Someone else would say what’s good for the soul is baseball, or reality TV, or a bag of potato chips.

  5. Ed Baker says:

    can’t find my original comment
    so
    here some photos of the LN 100 th in 2003

    (on my site)

    http://edbaker.maikosoft.com/niedecker_celebration/niedecker.html

  6. Ed Baker says:

    http://www.lorineniedecker.org/

    try the above site. I got some stuff in both summer 2007 (pps 5,6.7)
    and winter 2008 pps 8, 9

    here: http://www.lorineniedecker.org/newsl.html

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