Today I have for something for the young and the lovers of poetry. Those two often go together, don’t they? The image of the youthful, angst-ridden poet railing against the world with wordy weapons is quite easy to conjure up. Happily though, the poems that you will find in Odeful and Other Poems by Jennifer Recchio are not angst-ridden in the slightest, despite being pitched as poetry about coming-of-age in this crazy, technological world.
This collection did seem to me to be particularly short, but even given the limited overall length Recchio manages to cover quite a range of content and styles. A number of poems made me chuckle and chortle, a few had me connecting with a deep and poignant part of my inner self and one or two even had me scratching my head at the oddity of it all. After These Messages was undoubtedly my favourite of the lot – a bizarrely funny little piece spelling out what might happen for those characters we see every day in the advertising that surrounds us minute to minute. The stanza:
Maybe these characters
are in group therapy
in commercial land
where they trade secrets
for overcoming hair loss
and cleaning those
hard to reach places
did spark in me a little concern for those commercial-bound characters. Particularly the singing hamburger. The Lives of Eris was another one I particularly enjoyed, rich in imagery about the eternal battle between Order and Chaos (who, incidentally, works at a Home Goods store), and the form of Assume This is a Poem will be familiar to anyone who has ever been subjected to maths exams in high school.
I’d recommend this one to anyone wanting a brief respite from the novel and who doesn’t mind dipping their toes into the deep and choppy waters of poetry every now and then.
Until next time,
* I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley *