George Bowering’s book Good Morning Poems delights, inspires, and educates the reader who not only enjoys reading poetry but also wants to learn more about its form and what makes a poem outstanding. The poems of the English-language poets Bowering has selected for comment cover five hundred years, beginning with They Flee from Me by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) and ending with The Hid, Here by Margaret Avison.
Though I’ve written poetry, published a few, and attended poetry workshops, I felt I was wading into foreign territory, but one I wanted to visit again and again. Bowering, through his commentary, shows the brilliance in each poem which made it worthy of publishing. He explains why the poem has left such an indelible impression and why he read it again and again.
Bowering’s enthusiasm and expert knowledge of the poets and poems appearing in this lovely book of poetry literally gushes from the page. His passion for poetry is infectious. Bowering challenges the reader to look deep during the reading of a poem and find what is not obvious from the start. He encourages the poetry lover to read each poem aloud to hear the music and see the images the poet has created with his words, and to read it more than once. For example, when he discusses The Pact by Ezra Pound, he says, “There are still some people who might tell you that this little poem ‘doesn’t rhyme.’ These people, you could say, have their ears turned off.” Then he illustrates the rime he sees in the sentence structure. When I followed his suggestions on how to read the poem, I saw and understood far more than I had at first sight.
Bowering, though an award-winning poet himself, is careful not to intimidate the novice reader of poetry. He reminds them he has studied some poems for more than a few years to understand the poet’s intent.
This book of forty-eight poems, including those of very familiar poets—such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Alexander Pope, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Sheely, John Keats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, and Robert Frost—is sure to become a keepsake. With its variety in form, subject, and language, Good Morning Poems is bound to give readers many mornings of pleasure.
About the Author
George Bowering approaches literature as he does life: with a playful gravity and a grave merriness that makes intellectual life and writing seem at once attractive, unintimidating and remarkable. He dispels the myth of literature being hard or tricky, and demonstrates, as he reads and chats, the accessible and enriching nature of great literature. He and his wife Jean live in Vancouver.
- Publisher : NeWest Press (April 1 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 118 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1774390655
- ISBN-13 : 978-1774390658