It has been a long time since I read a collection of poems–not a good thing since reading more poetry was one of my 2021 Reading Goals. However, recently I received from a free source a collection of poems, billed as “40 Poems of Learning About Life.”
This interesting collection of poems begins in Dunham’s “comforts and questions of childhood.” Perhaps the most interesting and most well-known and well-received in this section is “My Mother, Turning Heads,” a child’s response to her mother’s attractiveness to others. The poems continue through the “yearnings, uncertainties, and every day joys of young adulthood,” perhaps my favorite group of poems. A few poems near the end deal with the complexities of middle age and aging, also an important part of the collection. All of the poems deal with “forgiveness, heartbreak, and joy,” universal themes that appeal to all readers. The author’s “take” on these themes is unique and original. I was particularly intrigued by the “Invisible Girl,” who shows up in an early poem and later makes a repeat appearance.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE INVISIBLE GIRL
Curled up in bed
in the dark of the room,
a heavy gray
pulled up to her chin.
From the kitchen
the nightly discord.
Through the window
a street light glows.
The invisible girl
to become a friend
I like the think of the Invisible Girl as the author’s Authentic Self arriving as the young girl lies daydreaming in her comfortable bed. Hopefully, Dunham has stayed true to their friendship and celebrates her inner self, The Invisible Girl daily as an adult. I must confess I did not fully understand the Invisible Girl’s reappearance when the author is an adult. The Invisible Girl returns in “…another’s stone-faced stare.” Perhaps I have totally misinterpreted the entire concept of the poems. I would love to ask the author what she intended in introducing The Invisible Girl.
Pretty soon I will start reading some of the Cybils nominations for children’s and YA poetry. (I already have some books from the library.)
This will definitely accomplish reading more poetry in 2021.