Review: Selected Poems by Gwendolyn Brooks

Happy Last Week of July! I know I’m not the only one who is simultaneously weirded out and unfazed by this strange passing of time. Since it is the last Monday of July though, it’s time for a review of the collection of poems I read in honor of this month’s Poet of the Month: Gwendolyn Brooks. I am interspersing a few of her poems in this post among my paragraphs. 🙂

I really liked this collection and it is one that I will definitely revisit in the future. It includes poems from a variety of her publications and it was incredibly interesting to see how she grew as a poet when reading this survey of her work. “Selected Poems” showcases her talent and range, as well as emphasizes her mastery over multiple types of poetic form. I also really liked that at the end, there was a section that included information about Gwendolyn Brooks, as well as further resources and an interview.

Brooks writes about the world–and particularly her neighborhood–as she sees it. These poems are not all sunshine and roses. They are snapshots of the hardship, beauty, pain, joy, triumph, racism, moral and ethical dilemmas that she sees around her. I think overall, I preferred her shorter poems to her longer epics, because I got lost a bit in the longer ones. They are poems that I will need to revisit in the future.

“Selected Poems” opens with “kitchenette building”–the poem that first introduced me to Gwendolyn Brooks and which still remains my favorite poem of hers to this day. If you are new to Ms. Brooks, I highly recommend this book. It gives you a great introduction to her works and styles!

Happy Monday All, and keep reading!

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