A collection of poetry that explores Sherman Alexie from his own personal viewpoint and discusses many of the aspects of his life from young age, to growing up, to being an adult. A mixed bag of concepts and ideas.
Release Date: April 2009
Source: Library – Borrowed
On My Shelf: No
I have some pretty conflicting feelings about this poetry collection. On one hand, I liked how honest, raw, and experimental Alexie’s words are. I’ve always appreciated his honestly, even when he sometimes comes off a little too filled with arrogance. At least he admits it, I guess?
I found myself laughing out loud at some of these poems and chuckling fondly at others. Then there were a few that gave me goosebumps, pulling something out of me I didn’t realize was there. This was the part of this book that I enjoyed, thoroughly.
But, that leads me then to talking about what I didn’t like so much. All the footnotes. I was not a fan of them. They often distracted from the flow of the poetry and caused some of the poems to feel choppy, like the ocean during a storm, and made me, the reader, feel like I was on a ship without an anchor.
The next thing that left me unsettled was the feeling that many of these poems were problematic and even, at times, offensive to different groups of people both small and large. This was just a strange gut-feeling I was left with and wasn’t all that explicit, but it was lingering in the corner of my mind and caused me to critique these poems more intensely. Maybe I was finding something in nothing, but I am always a huge gut-reaction truster.
That being said, I still couldn’t bring myself to rate this lower than 4 stars, because I do enjoy Alexie’s work, but I’ll definitely be reading it with a different lens from this point forward.
Do I recommend this? I’m not sure. I want to say yes, but I’m not sure who exactly to recommend this for/to. If you like Alexie’s work, I’d say give this a go, but I maybe wouldn’t start here if you’re new to his writing.
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