Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Browsing Area Book of the Week, December 3, 2102.

City of the Big Shoulders: an anthology of Chicago Poetry, edited by Ryan G. Van Cleave.  Library Call Number: PS572.C5C58 2012.

           Rather than a compilation of poets from Chicago (though most hail from there), Van Cleave has collected poems from 100 writers with the same thematic impulse: to pull a piece of Chicago out for poetic examination.  Notable poets such as Joy Harjo, Barry Silesky and Bob Hicock and Nina Corwin all represent the past, present and future of the Windy City in their work.
           As in any collection, some of the poems are more successful than others, but the best evoke the spirits of Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks and the hundreds of other past artistic voices of America’s Second City, while capturing the unique and vibrant neighborhoods, lakefront views, open spaces, hidden corners and individual characters of some of Chicago’s citizens.  One of the more encompassing descriptions of the town, by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz:

I want to eat

in a city smart enough to know that if you

are going to have that heart attack, you might

as well have the pleasure of knowing

  you’ve really earned it.

No comments:

Post a Comment