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Good Poems
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2012
I found almost no poems in this book to like. Mr. Keillor and I are not on the same page when it comes to poetry. I do hope that Keillor, whom I happen to admire, has not made the mistake of thinking that the American poetry reading public lacks the ability to appreciate poems of real depth and substance. I wanted to like this book. I ordered it with every hope that it would be filled with poems to which I could relate with real enthusiasm.
Alas, that just didn't turn out to be the case. I am sorry that I feel so negative about the book. I wish it were otherwise.
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on March 18, 2015
Was not what I expected. There were a few diamonds in the rough, but I felt like it was largely a brush with poems drilled in High School English courses.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
There is a great deal of vivid, evocative, skillful writing in this book.

Unfortunately, a lot of it isn't poetry.

Mine is undoubtedly a minority view in these modernist times, but I draw a strong distinction between poetry and prose. Either can be rich with image, metaphor, and emotion -- but what distinguishes the two is that poetry is not merely about the meanings of words, but about their pattern and sound. (You don't need rhyme or traditional meter to produce poetry -- there are other sorts of pattern available -- but they help.)

The compilation is by no means poetry-free; there are a good number of traditional poets represented, some of whom do reach beyond strict verse form. But far too much of the material is all content and no pattern, and not enough of the legitimate poetry really sings. It would be a shame if Keillor's bland take on what poetry is blinded modern readers to the power and energy that poems can possess when crafted with true care and attention to soundcraft as well as wordcraft.
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