Some Ether

some-etherby: Nick Flynn

Those of you who have read my about page are probably pretty aware of my feelings on poetry. Those of you who haven’t – well, I don’t like it.

I feel kind of terrible, because there’s poetry comprises a plethora of styles and forms and subjects and I just don’t like any of it.  It seems like an unreasonable prejudice, to be honest.   (In college, I thought the reason I didn’t like poetry was because I was underexposed, so I took a poetry writing class with a really great professor.  And it turns out exposure wasn’t the problem; poetry was.)

That being said, there are two poems that I absolutely love.  One is the poem that starts “Because I could not stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson.  The other is “Bag of Mice” by Nick Flynn.  In the spirit of trying to like poetry more, I read Some Ether, the Flynn’s book where “Bag of Mice” was originally published.

It didn’t work.  Now, it wasn’t a complete failure – I did fall in love with these lines, found at the end of “Emptying Town.”

…My version of hell

is someone ripping open his

shirt & saying,

Look what I did for you.

It’s fantastic.

But otherwise, my reaction towards it was pretty much what it is to all poetry – a general ambivalence.  It’s like reading a textbook for a subject I’m not particularly interested in.

At least I tried! Flynn is, from what I can understand, a wonderful contemporary poet.  Some Ether is based around the suicide of his mother and his childhood.  If you like poetry and tragedy, you should read some of his works.

In fact, if you’re read it and want to do a guest review on my blog, I’d be most appreciative! I feel as if this is the worst review ever.


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