I don’t know about you, but
I’m feeling twenty-two the last time I read poetry, I had to dissect it for a paper. That’s the thing about poetry. Most people associate poetry with an English class or a crazy teacher. However, recognizing that poetry is a genre that’s worth being read is the start to changing the way we view literature. Before delving into this review of Odeful, I challenge you to pick up a poem sometime throughout the week and just read it. Before trying to understand what the poet is saying, just listen to the sounds of the words formed in your head and enjoy.
Odeful is subpar at best. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for awesome titles and poetry in general, but when the title of a poem outshines the poem itself, there’s definitely something wrong. From Cliches Get Stuck Under Your Fingernails to This Is Not A Poem About How My Mother Thinks I’m Fat, I first raised my eyebrows upon reading the titles and then cracked a smile or two. Recchio’s poems are raw at times, but mainly they just bored me. Of course, there are a few poems that truly do shine, such as Customer of the Meme and The Life of Iris.
I’m not entirely sure what aspect of the author’s writing was least compelling. Although she involved dialogue throughout the free verse, many of the poems failed to keep my interest. One of the problems stems from the divisions between lines. I firmly believe that each line of poetry should be compelling, but the way Recchio arranged the lines failed to captivate me. Another issue is that Recchio failed to go to an extreme. Her poetry is neither abstract enough to grab my attention, nor is it detailed enough so that I can keep reading. Basically, the poems in Odeful fail to make you think. Sure, you’ll feel some emotion here or there, but you won’t be affected to the point where you’ll remember much about the poem.
Personally, I believe Odeful is a great start for those who haven’t read much poetry. Those who feel well-read in poetry should consider another poet. However, this being said, Jennifer Recchio’s collection of poems was a great read during the weekend. I’m also pretty impressed with her guts; it takes quite a lot of courage to title a poem This Is Not A Poem About How My Mother Thinks I’m Fat.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Publisher: Createspace (February 27th, 2014)
ISBN #: 9781496032911
Length: 38 pages (Paperback)