They sit together

They sit together

Here is an I-phone image of a Christmas present, a book of poetry selected by Garrison Keillor called "Good Poems, American Places".  This is my third book of the series, the other two volumes were wonderful.  There\’s a story about how this former-hater of poetry came to love poems.  Back when I was afraid of flying, I was in Columbus Ohio to catch a plane south and figured I should have a book to read for distraction.  What to get?  Needed to be something easy to read in a distracting situation and so I eventually ran across Keillor\’s first book simply called "Good Poems".  I thoroughly enjoyed it even though ironically it contained a poem called Passengers by Billy Collins that was about a passenger waiting at the airport gate and observing his fellow airline travelers while thinking about the plane going down.   I enjoyed that book so much that the family replaced it for me after left out in a rainstorm.

Back to this book, here is a mini-review (or more accurate, a preview).  The book is a little less than 500 pages and divided into 15 broad sections based on the topic of the poem like "snow", "on the road", "out west", and so on.  The book title leads you to believe that all the poems are location based but a quick leaf-through seems to show the selection is a lot like our photographs, portraying sometimes a particular town or city but other times portraying a moment in a place.  A place like your Dad\’s front porch, the convenient store, the beach, a New York cab.   These poems paint a photograph for you and, like a good photograph, your imagination is the key element in taking you to a moment in a far off place.   "Caught on a side street in heavy traffic, I said to the cabbie, I should have walked.  He replied, I should have been a doctor." (Harvey Shapiro, New York Notes).

You can find the book at Amazon for about $12 or so.