But in a good way, I guess? To be fair, I’ve never been a big poetry reader– here and there, it’s alright, but I can’t even tell you my favorite poet… because I don’t really have one? Even poems that I like, I can’t remember their names or authors, only the impressions I had on reading them. Oh, well, Dr. Suess is pretty dope. He counts, right?
So let’s be honest, I’m not going to be writing a very creditable review (it’s more like a ‘noting of having read and checking off the list’) of this next galley– A Doll for Throwing, by Mary Jo Bang.
There certainly weren’t any rhymes or stanza-y things– all text, in even justified blocks, and the lines more stream of consciousness than iambic pentameter.
I did warn you; I’m a poem-reading novice.
Machines. Objects. Furniture and design.
What exactly does that remind you of?
If you thought, “Huh. This is weird and kind of Bauhaus-ish,” then ding ding ding! That is a good connection to make!
I wasn’t paying much attention when I started the book, so I missed the back cover copy as well as the dedication up front which noted that the poems were a fictionalized narrative of the life of Lucia Moholy, a Czech photographer whose husband was the Bauhaus painter and teacher, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. But apparently that junior year Weimar Republic history class paid off because indeed, I spotted that Bauhaus style a mile off.
Very proud. Go me.
In all seriousness, once the connection was made, and the back cover copy read (guys, sometimes the BCC is incomprehensible, sometimes it’s beyond helpful, and most times, it walks a wiggly line down the middle), it was a lot easier to follow along and appreciate. Still really abstract stuff– mostly, I felt like I was glimpsing into brief, pensive, and occasionally rebellious roils of thought from an independent woman of artistic and melancholy mindset. It touches on themes of photography and forms and architecture and narrative and machines and approximations of the human form. It reflects on present and future, relationships and identity, family, human nature. I finished it in a few days, and still don’t quite have the mind power to really dissect into the nitty gritty of it all.
But I figure I can skate by on the excuse that half the fun of poetry is the actual experience of reading it. I had a perfectly lovely time reading it and reveling in the Bauhaus age and related themes and the strong-minded yet wistful portrait of Lucia Moholy Bang has suggested in these lines– what exactly it all means, I’ll leave to those English classes; I’m certainly not going to wrack my brains trying to explicate this when there’s no grade riding on it for me.
And on that note, feel free to throw your fave poems at me and see what sticks.
A Doll for Throwing is available August 2017