Poetry collections

I’ve read three poetry collections so far this year, and I have no idea how to review them. Also, they have no plot, and I don’t have too much to say, so I just thought I’d smack ‘em all into one review post, because why not?

Now and Then by Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott-Heron is a jazz and soul poet, and referred to himself as a bluesologist, because he was awesome, so he was allowed to make up words. He defines it as “a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues.” He has also been referred to as the godfather of rap, but it isn’t necessarily a title he was entirely comfortable with. He both wrote poetry and made music, and he has been sampled by a lot of rappers. Anyway.

His poems focus a lot on politics and on race relations in the United States. It’s very beautiful. You can definitely see his music in his poetry. A lot of them feel very much like songs, with choruses and with a very musical flow. I think my favorite poem is The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, it’s a bit tongue in cheek, and humorous, and dark, but it was beautiful.

It was amazing, and I need to read more Gil Scott-Heron.

Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg was the son of two Jewish members of the New York literary counter culture in the 1920s. His mother struggled with mental health concerns her whole life and was committed to an institution when Allen was a kid. He deals with it in the poem Kaddish, both sending his mother off to an institution, and his loss of childhood faith, Judaism.

The books deal a lot with class difference, economy in America, and people sort of on the fringes of life. He fought hard for the LGBTQ+ movement, and for gay rights. He referred to his life-long partner as his husband even though they couldn’t legally marry. He was passionate, and angry, and it’s amazing. It was so good. It’s so good. I want to read it again right away.

The Incomplete Tim Key by Tim Key
This is the first collection I read this year. It’s very different from the other two collections. Tim Key is an English man. Unlike Scott-Heron and Ginsberg he’s still alive, and he doesn’t necessarily write political poetry. He also doesn’t write traditional poems. They’re usually short, and weird, they don’t really rhyme.

I wasn’t a huge fan. I mean, it was fine. It didn’t really grab me. Some of the poems made me laugh out loud, but it wasn’t enough. It was fine. Maybe I just don’t get it, but I didn’t like it so much.

So this was my wrap-up, I guess, of the poetry I’ve read so far this year. I don’t have any other poetry collections, as far as I know, so if I’m gonna read more I need to buy more, but so far, so good. It’s been fun.